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More than just a number: As LA city and county release new homeless figures, we hear stories from those living the epidemic




Makeshift tents house the homeless on a street in Los Angeles, California.
Makeshift tents house the homeless on a street in Los Angeles, California.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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The numbers from the 2018 L.A. and countywide homeless count are in and are showing a small decline in overall homeless numbers: 53,195 in the county and 31,516 in the city.  

The number of people who are chronically homeless decreased by 16 percent. However, the number of people experience homelessness for the first-time went up.

People who are homeless for the first time, rather than chronically, are often homeless for a different set of reasons -- often having to do with economics and housing affordability, rather than mental or physical health issues.

So why are there more people experiencing homelessness for the first time? How have Measure H and HHH funds been used so far? What are the 2018 numbers and larger trends and what do they tell us about how services and resources should be focused going forward?

 

Resources: 

LAHSA Coordinated Entry System (CES) or Help for the Homeless

Mental Health Resources and Other Needs

Department of Health Services

Safe Parking L.A. 

LA Homeless Resources Wiki

Further housing resources: 

LA County Shelters

www.roommates.com

www.prideroommates.com

SHARE collaborative housing 

Guests:

Jonathan Hans, manager of community engagement for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), which conducted the count

Va Lecia Adams Kellum, president and CEO of St. Joseph Center which works with working poor families, and homeless men, women and children; they are based in Venice and service L.A. County

Gale Holland, reporter for the L.A. Times covering homelessness and poverty; she tweets @geholland