Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Study: Half Of LA’s Homeless Have Recently Worked

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Think the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles can be blamed on people who don't want to work? Well, a new study shows most have held down jobs.

The study published Thursday finds:

  • Nearly half (47%) of working age adults enrolling in homeless services in L.A. had worked in the four years prior to becoming homeless.
  • About one in five were working in the same quarter they showed up in L.A.’s homeless services system.
  • Close to three-quarters (74%) had some record of employment between 1995 and 2018.

Researchers with the California Policy Lab at UCLA looked at the employment history of people falling into homelessness by comparing data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) with records from the state’s Employment Development Department.