PolitiFact checks California's rising homeless numbers

Homeless residents said that they often spend a lot of their money on tents and energy in keeping their belongings safe from law enforcement or theft in Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, Mar. 16, 2018.
Homeless residents said that they often spend a lot of their money on tents and energy in keeping their belongings safe from law enforcement or theft in Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, Mar. 16, 2018.
Susanica Tam/For KPCC

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California will choose a new governor this November. Among those bidding to replace Gov. Jerry Brown is Orange County Assembly member Travis Allen, who recently made headlines with strong statements on the state's homelessness problem.  

"Homelessness has skyrocketed across California," said Allen answering questions about the state's  housing crisis. "We have the nation’s highest homelessness rate and the nation’s highest homeless population." 

Homelessness is a serious issue facing cities in Southern California. Antelope Valley has had to extend a temporary shelter, following a rise in the local homeless population. And in Orange County, residents recently rejected plans to create housing for the throng of people evicted from the Santa Ana riverbed. Communities across Southern California are struggling to meet the needs of a growing number of residents in need of shelter. 

Chris Nichols with PolitiFact California compared the real numbers with Allen's statements. 

https://twitter.com/CAPolitiFact/status/979161220946149377

Nichols says when he reviewed the LA County numbers from 2017, "...we found the number of people experiencing homelessness was more than 55,000 people, and that was up nearly 20 percent or 11,000 compared to the year before. Orange County had close to 5,000 homeless people and that was an increase of 500 people, or 10 percent. Certainly, Southern California has a giant's share of the state's homeless population."