California has almost 25% of the nation’s homeless population at about 135,000 which is up 14% in 2017 from 2016. Los Angels County has 55,000 alone. But…lets just let everybody in.

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via almatters.org:

California is struggling to confront its homelessness crisis: After big-city mayors up and down the state lobbied hard for more funding, state leaders agreed to spend an additional $600 million this month to help fight the problem.

Here are some basic numbers to help understand one of the state’s most vexing issues.

How many Californians are homeless now, and how has that changed over time?

While it’s tough to say precisely how many Californians are experiencing homelessness, the federal Housing and Urban Development Department estimates the number statewide at 130,000 on a given night. That’s 25 percent of the entire nation’s homeless population. Since 2016, California experienced a larger increase in homelessness than any other state.

“Our state has more than 1.7 million low-income households spending more than half their income in housing costs,” said Ben Metcalf, the director of the state Department of Housing and Community Development. “When you’re paying that much for housing, with so little left over, even a minor shock can start a cycle of homelessness.”

Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development.

California has the highest percentage of unsheltered homeless individuals in the country, at slightly under 70 percent. This means that the vast majority of the state’s homeless population does not utilize temporary living arrangements provided by either charitable organizations or government programs. Rather, they have been found living on the streets, parks, or other places not meant for human habitation.

“The lack of shelters is due to a lack of resources, and we don’t really have a plan to end homelessness,” said Christopher Martin, legislative advocate at Housing California. “We don’t have strong programs to end homelessness on the state level. We know the shelters are a part of the solution, but at the end of the day, we know that we need exits for the shelters.”

Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Where are California’s homeless?

In 2017, Los Angeles County had the highest population of homeless individuals in all of California at roughly 55,000, and was only second to New York for holding the largest population of homeless people in the nation. And while 95 percent of New York’s homeless population was sheltered, only 25 percent of those in Los Angeles were sheltered.

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