In a hard reality check for Los Angeles County’s multimillion-dollar hope of ending homelessness, officials reported Tuesday that the number of people living on the streets, in vehicles and in shelters increased by about 12% over last year.
The annual point-in-time count, delivered to the Board of Supervisors, put the number of homeless people just shy of 59,000 countywide. Within the city of Los Angeles, the number soared to more than 36,000, a 16% increase.
The findings in L.A. follow a string of similarly dire point-in-time counts from across California, as government officials struggle to respond more forcefully to the state’s abject lack of affordable housing. The shortage is driving up rental prices, forcing people onto the streets at a rapid pace.