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The Homeless Population In Los Angeles Increased By 11 Percent Last Year

Homeless encampments and people living in cars are up 20% from last year. (Photo by cyna79 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The homeless population in the city of Los Angeles grew by 11 percent over the last year, according to a recent count, despite a decrease in the number of homeless veterans and families.The findings, released today by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, counted a total number of 28,464 homeless individuals across the city of Los Angeles. Across all of Los Angeles County, LAHSA counted 46,874 homeless individuals, an overall 5.7 percent increase from last year. And while Los Angeles' housing climate has certainly driven the homelessness crisis, a significant part of the population increase is attributed to LAHSA's improvements in counting the homeless youth population.

The report states that 2,388 youths were counted as homeless in 2015. LAHSA also found that people living in encampments or vehicles totaled 11,472, a staggering 20% increase from last year, and over twice as many from 2013.

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Despite these overall sad numbers, LAHSA found that the homeless veteran population in Los Angeles County dropped 30 percent, thanks to an infusion of federal funds from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Last year 3,812 veterans were given permanent housing in the county. The county is also seeing success in placing homeless families in permanent homes, as 6,867 individuals (accounting for 2,390 families) were placed in homes in the past year.

"L.A.'s success in significantly reducing veteran and family homelessness reinforces the importance of resources and collaborative system to deliver them. Homelessness responds to resources," said LAHSA executive director Peter Lynn. "When we have systemically applied City, County and federal resources, we see results."

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