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Homelessness Skyrockets in Los Angeles; Over 75,000 on Streets in L.A. County

Homelessness in Los Angeles skyrocketed over the last year, increasing by 10% in L.A. County and 9% in the city, leaving more than 75,000 people living on the streets of the county in an epic setback for local leaders.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday:

Homelessness continued to rise dramatically, increasing by 9% in Los Angeles County and 10% in the city of Los Angeles last year, in a stark illustration of the challenges faced by officials trying to reduce the number of people living on the streets.

The count, conducted by thousands of volunteers during a three-day period in January, projected that 75,518 people were living in interim housing or a tent, car, van, RV, tent or makeshift shelter in Los Angeles County, compared with 69,144 the previous year.

Almost all the growth came from the Westside and Harbor areas of Los Angeles, with each seeing increases of just over 2,000 people, or about 45%.

Mayor Karen Bass, who took office late last year, has vowed to make reducing homelessness her top priority, setting a goal of moving 17,000 people off the streets in her first year in office, housing them in local motels.

A homeless person covers up with a blanket outside the entrance to the 7th Street/Metro Center subway station in downtown Los Angeles Friday, March 19, 2023. California is bracing with an atmospheric river that forecasters warn will bring heavy rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and the threat of flooding even as the state is still digging out from earlier storms. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

However, that strategy has proved limited, as many people preserve the relative freedom of life on the street, and many suffer drug addiction and mental illness. The region also attracts homeless people from elsewhere.

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