More L.A. Latinos falling into homelessness, shaking communities in ‘a moment of crisis’
Homelessness has long been more of a problem on the West Coast and in Northern California, but now it’s on the rise in Los Angeles and many other parts of the country. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Homelessness has long been more of a problem on the West Coast and in Northern California, but now it’s on the rise in Los Angeles and many other parts of the country.
Los Angeles County saw the second-highest number of homeless people — more than 18,400 — in 2017, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
And homeless cases are increasing, especially among Latinos, according to the report, which found that the median number of Latinos experiencing homelessness in L.A. County each year is now at 4.3 percent, up 11.5 percent since 2013.
While homelessness among white adults declined last year, it has been increasing by at least 9 percent a year since 2011, the report found.
Many of those falling into homelessness, according to data from the 2016 census, were from Latinx families — including families headed by women, people of color and immigrants.
“The trend is now toward a higher prevalence among nonwhites,” said John P. Mitchell, the acting director of the L.A. Homeless Services Authority. “It is a moment of crisis for our city, and a wake-up call for our country that we have not yet addressed this serious national problem.”
In addition to the increased number of Hispanics experiencing homelessness, the report found that the median number of Latinos in L.A. County experiencing homelessness each year has risen more than 30 percent, from 4.3 percent in 2013 to 10.7 percent in 2017.
The increased homelessness among Latinos is not only troubling for them but also for members of their communities, as data from the 2016 census show that Latinos in L.A.