Homeless Count

About the graph
Total homeless counts in Los Angeles County have increased by more than 14,000 between the beginning of the Great Recession in 2009 and now in 2018.  There are more unsheltered homeless persons than sheltered in every year.

How is Los Angeles addressing homelessness?
The City and County of Los Angeles passed Measures HHH and H, respectively, to alleviate homelessness.  Los Angeles City voters passed Measure HHH in November 2016 to fund $1.2 billion towards developing permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness throughout the City through a $0.348 per square foot property tax.  Similarly, the County voters passed Measure H in March 2017 to fund an estimated $355 million for homeless services and prevention through a 0.25% increase in county sales tax. The said services pertain to but are not limited to: mental health, substance abuse treatment, health care, education, job training, rental subsidies, and gender-based violence.  The Los Angeles Times argued that Measure H would “fulfill the promise of Measure HHH” given that “developers […] can’t get bond money until they have service providers lined up” (March 2017).

Measure Level Passed in Description
HHH City November 2016 Authorizing $0.348 per square foot property tax for 10 years and up to $1.2 billion in bonds to fund housing for homeless people and people at risk of becoming homeless and to fund facilities that provide mental health care, addiction treatment, and other services.
H County March 2017 Authorizing a 0.25% county sales tax for 10 years to fund homeless services and prevention.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has conducted full shelter counts in every year starting in 2005.  However, prior to 2015, the Los Angeles Continuum of Care (CoC) only did full Homeless Counts in odd years, e.g. 2005, 2007, and 2009.  For this reason, the unsheltered numbers for the even years for the LA CoC, as well as for Long Beach and Glendale, were the same as the number from the respective previous odd years.  Pasadena has done annual counts since the beginning, and so their changes will be reflected in the even years.

In addition, the data in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) does not include 2006.  Lastly, Los Angeles County did not administer a homeless count in 2014 (Los Angeles County, July 2014).