California’s homeless population grew to over 22,000 within three years

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California’s first ever headcount revealed a 22,500 increase in homeless people since 2019. 

This increase is not at a faster rate than California’s average rate. However, the increase brings the homeless population to 173,8000. According to CalMatters. 

According to CalMatters, experts in the field attribute the rise of the pandemic to worsening economic conditions and the escalating affordability crisis. 

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported that there was an increase in homelessness in Los Angeles County, which is a heavily populated area. This brings their total to 69,144. reported

People of color are still experiencing homelessness at disproportionate rates in Los Angeles, with the Black community making up 30% of the homeless population despite only accounting for nine percent of LA’s total population, according to LAHSA.

The pandemic also affected Latinos in LA County at an increasing rate. Latinos represent 49% of LA County’s population and now also represent 44% of its homeless population, a rise of 25.8% in the latest count, reported LAHSA.

LAHSA reports that the county increased the number shelters during the pandemic. This took the total homeless population from 28% down to 30%. According to LAHSA, despite placing 21213 people in permanent housing in 2021, thousands remain without housing.

Project Roomkey, which Gov. Gavin Newsom. His project has a budget $600 million. He hopes to use it to purchase as many properties possible to house the homeless. According to CalMatters.

The project currently has approximately 9,600 people living in the units. CalMatters reports that 15700 units were leased by the project during the pandemic. 

LAHSA reported that 800,000.00 units must be built over the next eight-years to close the gap between those who own and those who rent. 

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