This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Map: Where Los Angeles' Homeless Live
A new interactive map showing the location of L.A.'s homeless population provides a startling representation of the city's recent dramatic rise in homelessness.
The extremely detailed map from the L.A. Times reveals the location of every homeless person documented by this year's homeless count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The intensively thorough census, conducted visually every two years, found that roughly 39,000 homeless people are currently living in L.A. County. The troubling number reveals a 12% increase in the overall number of homeless individuals from just two years ago, while the number of tents, makeshift encampments and vehicles occupied by homeless people rose by 85%, according to the L.A. Times. The map shows dots on the approximate locations across the county where the survey found homeless individuals, encampments or someone living in a vehicle.
The map allows you to scroll across the entire county or zoom into specific cities, neighborhoods and even particular streets. The map represents individuals living out in the open with red dots, those living in tents or makeshift shelters with yellow dots, and anyone living in a vehicle with a purple dot. By hovering your cursor over the census tracts—which highlight a very small subdivision of the county—the map's key also reveals specifically how many people are living on the street, in an encampment or in a vehicle in that given area. The dots are randomized within the census tracts, so you aren't seeing exactly where people live, but it's easy to get a sense of roughly where and how many people are living in any area across the county.
The homeless aren't just concentrated in areas like Skid Row and Venice. The map vividly reveals that the distribution of the county's homeless population is spread far and wide. There are other concentrations in the San Fernando Valley, South L.A., Hollywood and Santa Monica but there are homeless almost everywhere you look. Of the 1,684 census tracts surveyed, only 300 had no homeless individuals, according to the L.A. Times.
The survey and accompanying map are thought to be the most thorough picture of the county's widespread issue of homelessness. Most previous surveys primarily focused on dense areas like Skid Row, while this map helps to reveal concentrations in what may seem to many as unexpected areas. In Willowbrook, for instance, over 200 hundred vehicles (purple) and over 100 individuals (red) were found in a largely industrial neighborhood:
Near Pacific Palisades, more people living in tents and makeshift shelters than in vehicles or outside:
The map below shows just how intensely focused the county's homeless population is around the Skid Row neighborhood. The census counted 1,243 people living in the two census tracts that make up that dense triangle just east of Los Angeles Street:
You can explore the rest of the map here.