Homeless Count 2020
In the last year, homelessness increased by 13% in L.A. County because there aren’t enough homes people can afford.
Change L.A.’s priorities
There are many reasons for the rise in homelessness, including racist housing policies that impoverish and exclude Black people, as well as insufficient protections for renters. But one trend is clear: Homelessness is going up across L.A. because there aren’t enough homes people can afford.
The city and county of L.A. spend a collective $5 billion on law enforcement and almost nothing to make housing more affordable. If that sounds wrong to you, sign up and help us make change.
Join our campaign to end homelessness.
Homelessness ends—it doesn’t define people
While experiencing homelessness as a college student, Kyshawna had to use Starbucks WiFi to do her homework. After being connected to supportive services through Jovenes, Kyshawna recalls: “I was able to improve my grades to all As and this past fall, I was able to graduate from community college.” This year, she’ll be enrolling at a four-year university on a full-ride scholarship, housing included.
Black people are among the most vulnerable
While homelessness can happen to anyone, some people are especially vulnerable. The structural racism that has infected everything from housing policy to the criminal justice system has, unsurprisingly, disproportionately forced more Black people into homelessness than any other demographic.
Abuse causes homelessness
The terrible abuse Millie suffered as a child led her to homelessness. “I felt disgusted, I felt alone, and I felt useless,” she said. Eventually she secured housing, and today she has become an advocate for people experiencing homelessness and a volunteer with the Downtown Women’s Center.
Senior homelessness is surging
An increasing number of seniors over the age of 62 are losing their homes, making them even more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Most of all, families are feeling the pain
The housing crisis and our volatile economy are dangers to L.A. families. A new study says as many as 184,000 children in L.A. could be evicted into homelessness because of the pandemic.
Other cities have solved this problem and we can, too
The solution is to buy, lease, and build homes that are affordable as quickly as possible. Helsinki reduced homelessness by 2/3 by building homes. Vienna did it, too. Utah reduced chronic homelessness by 91% until funding was cut.
First-time homelessness outpaces real progress
L.A.’s investments in housing and services, like health care, for people experiencing homelessness helped 22,769 people move from the streets into housing last year. Another 52,689 found their own way out of homelessness. But the tiny fraction of government spending dedicated to helping people afford housing can’t keep pace with the crisis.
Last year alone, 82,955 people lost their homes, many for the first time.
How to end homelessness in L.A.
We know how to end homelessness and we have the money to do it. L.A. County has one of the richest economies in the world but allocates pennies to help people afford housing. Most of the money dedicated to housing comes from voter-approved tax increases, not general purpose funds. We should be using both.
If the city and county of L.A. spent one-third as much on housing as the $5 billion they spend on law enforcement, we would not have a homelessness crisis.
Housing for everyone
Housing is a basic human need. Everyone should have access to it.
We’re organizing thousands of advocates across L.A. County and sending a message to our mayors, city councilmembers, and other elected officials: Homes end homelessness.
Join us and help put pressure on our elected officials to spend our money on the right priorities, starting with homes for all.