Homeless Count 2013 Findings

homelesscount
Pasadena along Colorado Boulevard

The homeless population in Los Angeles sees a 16 percent increase since 2011, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Earlier this year hundreds of volunteers canvassed neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles in what has become the biennial Los Angeles Homeless Count. The numbers this year show that the general homeless population has risen from 50,214 in 2011 to 58,423 in 2013. A decrease in homeless veterans and families was reported by LAHSA thanks to increased funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The 16 percent rise is one thing, but even more startling is the rise in unaccompanied youth. Up 122 percent, rising from 366 in 2011 to 817 in 2013. This pertains to youth 18 and under.

The Homeless Count took place late January this year and I participated in Monterey Park. I detailed the findings of our group, took some photos, walked around the park past 11:30 p.m.

The information gathered will be released over the next several months. The broad information on general population comes first, and then the more detailed findings on specific neighborhoods and types of population. Previous years have shown interesting findings, but I’m always more interested in neighborhoods that don’t participate in the count and their neighboring communities.

Dream Activists – Undocumented in America

Jonathan Perez, left and Isaac Barrera a few days after being released from a detention center - December 2011 photo by Nathan Solis
Jonathan Perez, left and Isaac Barrera a few days after being released from a detention center – December 2011 photo by Nathan Solis

Fall 2011: Jonathan Perez and Isaac Barrera turn themselves into immigration authorities in Mobile, Alabama. As undocumented immigrants they are immediately sent to a detention center. Perez walked right into the immigration office and confronted a set of officers asking them, “What do you do?”

As an undocumented immigrant Perez along with Barrera were sent to a detention center. They were released within a few days. When they returned to Southern California they held a press conference outside of Pasadena City College where Perez was a student.

I wrote about their journey for The Alhambra Source and the full story can be read here.