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Homelessness Research Resources

A repository for the USC Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness

Mayor of Los Angeles

"Homelessness is the moral issue of our time. We are not here to address homelessness... or manage homelessness... or reduce homelessness... we are here to end homelessness once and for all"
- Former Mayor Eric Garcetti

Under his administration, Mayor Eric Garcetti made it his priority to address the homelessness crisis. The administration had a three pillar approach: housing those who are homeless; preventing people at risk for homelessness from landing on the streets; and balancing health and safety concerns with the rights and needs of people who are living in unacceptable conditions.

As a first act since taking office, Mayor Karen Bass declared a local house and homelessness state of emergency. Her administration has drafted an Action Plan which is organized around three broad objectives: 1. Resolve encampments by housing people in interim, then stable permanent housing 2. Expedite affordable housing development 3. Prevent Angelenos from falling into homelessness

LA Homeless Initiative

Moving Forward for Long-term Impact

On February 9, 2016, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an unprecedented action plan comprised of nearly four dozen interlocking strategies—focusing on six key areas—to prevent and combat homelessness. This comprehensive set of 47 strategies resulted from an 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.  The County engaged stakeholders across the region in confronting this shared humanitarian crisis. More than 100 community groups, 30 cities and an array of County leaders joined together to create an ambitious but achievable path forward.

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. 

Southern California Initiatives

ACLU of Southern California

Homeless in LA

Quick Facts About the Homeless Population in Los Angeles (based on 2019 Homeless Count unless otherwise noted):

  • The average age is between 25-54, however, there was a 24% increase of youth (under age 25) in 2019.
  • 50% are female, 44% are male, 5.1% are transgender.
  • 15% are families, typically headed by a single mother.
  • 15% are physically disabled.
  • 29% have a serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
  • 34% have experienced Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence and 5% report experiencing homelessness due to fleeing domestic violence/intimate partner violence.
  • As children, about 33% lived in foster care or group homes
  • Nearly 47% of people experiencing homelessness worked within four years of becoming homeless, 19% worked in the calendar quarter they became homeless. Source: Evaluation of Los Angeles County Measure H-Funded Homelessness Prevention Strategies: December 2019