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First Drop in Homeless Population In Years Reported in Los Angeles Amid Policy Changes and Supreme Court Ruling

"City homeless population decreasing"

Significant Decrease in Homeless Population Numbers in Los Angeles

In a move away from the status quo, Los Angeles has registered the first drop in its homeless population in years. The numbers, while incremental, signify a step in the right direction for a city grappling with a rampant homelessness issue.

The Homelessness Count

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has recently shared the results of their 2024 Homeless Point-In-Time Count. The survey indicated a total of 75,312 unhoused individuals in L.A. County, a drop of 0.3% from last year. The city-specific data reflected a more dramatic decrease, with 45,252 homeless people, down by 2.2% from the previous year’s count.

A Cause for Optimism

Va Lecia Adams Kellum, the CEO of LAHSA, chose to highlight the positive direction the statistics were pointing towards. “The numbers in this year’s homeless count give us cause to feel optimistic about the direction of our homeless work across L.A. County,” she stated.

A Shift in Homeless Sheltering

Even though the decrease in the overall homeless population seems marginal, Los Angeles has made significant advancements when it comes to the sheltered population. The city reported a 10% decrease in its street homeless population, marking the largest such decrease in nine years. Additionally, the city reported a 38% decrease in makeshift shelters.

Policy Shifts and Long-Term Solutions

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass acknowledged the positive shift, attributing it to the tireless efforts of the whole community. “We have leaned into change. And we have changed the trajectory of this crisis and moved L.A. in a new direction,” she remarked.

Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County Supervisor who represents District 4, also shared her thoughts about the new data. Hahn emphasized the city’s focus on shelters and their successful endeavors in convincing people to come inside.

Besides this, both Hahn and Mayor Bass underscored the need for more permanent supportive housing and long-term solutions to address Los Angeles’ homelessness problem effectively.

Supreme Court Ruling on Homelessness and Local Government

Interestingly, the news of the decrease in homelessness comes in the wake of a significant ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of local governments being able to enforce bans on unhoused people sleeping in outdoor spaces.

Mixed Responses to the Court’s Ruling

The ruling has drawn mixed responses, with California’s Governor stating it removes legal ambiguities that had previously restricted lawmakers from clearing ‘unsafe’ encampments, while Mayor Bass argued strongly against the ruling. She conveyed her stance that the ruling must not be used as an excuse to criminalize homelessness.

This significant ruling, coupled with the encouraging reduction in homeless population numbers in Los Angeles, underscore the critical need for sustained efforts and policy shifts towards addressing the crisis of homelessness at both the local and national level.


First Drop in Homeless Population In Years Reported in Los Angeles Amid Policy Changes and Supreme Court Ruling

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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