UPDATED 4:54 PM PT – Tuesday, December 27, 2022
The city of Los Angeles released its findings on the homeless population in the county. The report was met with concerns and criticisms over the ridiculously low numbers that are said to be “nowhere close” to reality.
According to the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority (LAHSA) the increase in the L.A. County for the homeless population was only 4.1% between 2020 and 2022, and only 1.7% in the city.
Volunteer Jessica Rogers, who helped with the counts, said the data had wild inaccuracies. She recalled being “scared for her life” as she went block to block to help with the counts, and recalled one area that she counted 297 homeless people is now being reported as zero.
“LAHSA did not get the count right,” Jessica said. “Nowhere clear. Nowhere near.”
Breaking down the data, Economic Roundtable President Dan Flamming provided examples of areas that “had 94 unsheltered in 2020 and this year’s count had zero.” He explained that this was the case for 335 areas throughout L.A.
LAHSA’s Chief Programs Officer, Molly Rysman, responded to the critiques disagreeing with the claims.
“I wouldn’t say it didn’t work, there were some challenges,” Rysman said. “Our goal is to get a regional estimate. Assigning the data per census track was complicated this year because of technological issues. We believe we got the best regional estimate we could.”
Newly elected Mayor Karen Bass (D-Calif.) has declared a state of emergency in the city due to the homeless population. The LAHSA’s budget is also set to increase in 2023 from around $800 to $1.1 billion.