Local Areas Outpacing City in Homeless Surge

A homeless man sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles. Photo: Getty Images.

Both Los Angeles City Council districts 4 and 13 outpaced the city in homeless population gains, according to data released in May by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

In Council District 4 (CD4), which includes the communities of Los Feliz, Silver Lake, East Hollywood, Larchmont Village, La Brea and Hancock Park, the area outpaced the city’s homeless epidemic in almost a third of categories including the number of homeless individuals overall.

Homelessness grew 20% citywide over 2016 according to data collected in January. But in CD4, the growth this year was 25%.

According to the report, CD4 now has an estimated 783 homeless individuals living within its boundaries.

“Increased supportive services in 2016 resulted in over 14,000 people permanently taken off the streets” citywide, said CD4 Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu in a statement. “However, we must do more to house people at a faster pace.”

In the statement, Ryu said homelessness “needs to be tackled holistically,” and pointed to recently passed ballot measures—Measure H and HHH—as going “a long way toward addressing our region’s homelessness crisis.”

According to the data, the council district is also outpacing city homeless numbers in the areas of homeless unaccompanied minors (up 550% in 2017) compared to the city’s increase in that category of 152%.

Additionally CD4 saw an increase of 480% for chronically homeless veterans in the latest count, which was conducted in January. Citywide, that number increased in the 2017 count as well, but only by 137%.

The number of transgender homeless people in CD4 increased by 427% compared to 3% citywide.

In terms of race, the district had an increase in Latino/Hispanic homeless individuals of 215% from 2016, per the report, while the city saw an increase of 41% for that ethnicity.

Homeless individuals in the district over the age of 25 also saw more dramatic increases in the 2017 count: ages 25-54 increased in CD4 by 29%—compared to a citywide increase of 23%—and those aged 55-61 in CD4 jumped 76% compared to a citywide increase of 12%.

Another area of concern for CD4 is the number of homeless individuals who have health issues. The district had a 200% increase, during the 2017 count, for homeless persons with HIV or AIDS (compared to a citywide increase of 86%); a 316% increase for those with developmental disabilities (compared to the city’s increase of 90%) and a 38% increase in homeless persons with physical disabilities (compared to the citywide increase of 11%).

Council District 13, which includes portions of Hollywood, Koreatown, East Hollywood, Atwater Village, Echo Park and Silver Lake, also outpaced city homeless numbers about 1/3 of the time, according to the new data, including in the areas of those identified as chronically homeless, those with veteran status, transgender individuals, those who are white and those older in age.

CD13 also outpaced citywide numbers in terms of homeless individuals with health issues including substance disorders, brain injuries and those living with HIV/AIDS.

Like Ryu, CD13 Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell said relief was on the way due to the passage of measures HHH and H.

“These funds, to be allocated for the construction of permanent supportive housing, will be enough to house up to 10,000 people while providing on-site clinical services,” O’Farrell said in a statement. “I have championed many affordable housing initiatives on the Los Angeles City Council, and my district has hundreds of units of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing under construction, with many more on the way. The latest results on the homeless count serve to make me more determined than ever to work toward a solution that solves this crisis.”

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