Homelessness rose by 13% in Los Angeles County, and 14% in the City of Los Angeles itself, over the year ending in January, according to the annual homeless count released on Friday.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
The annual point-in-time count released Friday estimated the county’s homeless population at 66,433, up nearly 13% from the prior year, the second consecutive double-digit increase. The estimate for the city was 41,290, up almost 14% and only slightly less than last year’s increase of 16%.
The statistics do not reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, or the city’s efforts to bring homeless people indoors during the outbreak.
While the pandemic is thought to have increased the risk of homelessness due to its economic impact, the response to the coronavirus also saw some 6,000 homeless people brought inside, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Friday.
Garcetti also blamed “institutional racism” for the rise in homelessness, noting that African Americans were eight to nine percent of the population in the county, yet a third of its homeless population.
He blamed discrimination going back to the post-World War II era in explaining racial disparities in homelessness.
He did not explain why Los Angeles, a liberal and diverse city, would be more subject to “institutional racism” than other parts of the country, where homelessness has been falling.
Data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in December showed that California was “entirely” responsible for the nationwide increase in homelessness up to January 2019.
Homelessness rose 2.7% nationwide, but 16.4% in California alone, driving the increase.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.