Officials are set to release the results of the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homelessness Count Thursday and reveal if the number of people living without homes in the county increased or decreased this year.
The count was conducted over several nights in January by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority along with over 8,500 volunteers.
LAHSA reported last year that the number of homeless in Los Angeles spiked by 20 percent to 34,189 and increased by 23 percent in the county to 57,794, although the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority recently said the numbers in the county were inflated by 2,746, and it is not yet clear how many of those were within the city of Los Angeles.
Since the release of last year’s count, city and county officials have passed numerous initiatives aimed at combating the problem of homelessness, but few top officials if any are predicting the number of homeless has decreased.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he did not expect the number to be reduced in any significant way, although he said he did believe that an impact would begin to be made throughout this current year as several major programs to fight homelessness are being fully implemented.
The initiatives include Measure HHH, a $1.2 billion bond measure approved by city voters to build permanent supportive housing for the homeless, although no units have been completed yet. Another program is Measure H, a sales tax increase approved by county voters in 2017 expected to raise $355 million annually for homeless programs, and the city’s plan to spend at least $20 million for temporary homeless shelters.
Gov. Jerry Brown has also proposed dedicating $359 million in budget surplus money this coming fiscal year for homeless programs, but Garcetti and some other leaders want at least $1.5 billion set aside. If the funding is approved, nearly 52,000 Angelenos would receive housing and services over a three-year period. Garcetti’s office said.
Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson and other officials are expected to release the homeless count numbers at a 1 p.m. news conference.
LAHSA is in charge of the count for what is called the continuum of care for the entire county except for Glendale, Pasadena and Long Beach, which conduct their own counts. But the numbers that will be released by LAHSA will include the results from those three cities.