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Homelessness Research Resources: Home

A research guide for community members interested in research homelessness

USC News on Homeless



LA Homeless Initiative

Moving Forward for Long-term Impact

On February 9, 2016, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a comprehensive set of 47 strategies which resulted from an unprecedented, inclusive planning process in which community organizations, cities and County departments all played key roles. The Board approved $100 million in one-time funding to launch the implementation of these strategies, while recognizing that new, ongoing revenue is critical to sustaining the strategies over time.

Los Angeles County’s Homeless Initiative has entered the crucial implementation phase. It is an effort that reaches across jurisdictional lines, with support coming from cities and leaders across the region.

It is impossible to solve an ongoing problem with one-time funding. The homeless crisis in Los Angeles County has been worsening and demands an urgent, coordinated response from the State, County, cities, and community partners throughout the region.



Image result for LAHSAIn December of 1993, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles Mayor and City Council created the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) as an independent, Joint Powers Authority. LAHSA's primary role is to coordinate the effective and efficient utilization of Federal and local funding in providing services to homeless people throughout Los Angeles City and County.

LAHSA is the lead agency in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care, which is the regional planning body that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals in Los Angeles County. LAHSA coordinates and manages over $70 million dollars annually in Federal, State, County and City funds for programs that provide shelter, housing and services to homeless persons in Los Angeles City and County. 

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USC Homelessness Student Resource Guide

Homeless in LA

Homelessness in Los Angeles County

According to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center, an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.

Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest percentages are in South Los Angeles and Metro Los Angeles.  Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 14 to 18 percent of homeless adults in Los Angeles County are not U.S. citizens compared with 29% of adults overall. A high percentage - as high as 20 percent - are veterans. African Americans make up approximately half of the Los Angeles County homeless population - disproportionately high compared to the percentage of African Americans in the county overall (about 9 percent).

Other Facts About the Homeless Population in Los Angeles:

  • The average age is 40 - women tend to be younger.

  • 33% to 50% are female.  Men make up about 75% of the single population.

  • About 42% to 77% do not receive public benefits to which they are entitled.

  • 20% to 43% are in families, typically headed by a single mother.

  • An estimated 20% are physically disabled.

  • 41% of adults were employed within last year.

  • 16% to 20% of adults are employed.

  • About 25% are mentally ill.

  • As children, 27% lived in foster care or group homes; 25% were physically or sexually abused

  • 33%-66% of single individuals have substance abuse issues.

  • 48% graduated from high school; 32% had a bachelor degree or higher (as compared to 45% and 25% for the population overall respectively).