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Here’s What’s Being Done to End L.A.’s Homelessness Crisis

Where is your money going, what steps are being taken, and what’s coming next

By Zoie Matthew

You don’t need us to tell you that the city and county are in the midst of a homelessness crisis—the worst in the region’s history and the worst in the nation. Just look out the window on your daily commute.

While a host of recent funding measures have helped to decrease L.A. County’s total homeless population by 3 percent since 2017, the number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time is still on the rise, and L.A. has a lot more to do to address the issue’s root causes.

The info that follows can’t possibly tackle the entirety of a topic as complex and fraught as this—you’d need a textbook for that—but it does offer clarity about where your money is going, what steps are being taken, and what other efforts we can expect in the coming months.


There’s slightly more than one shelter bed for every three homeless people in the L.A. area. Not all beds are available year-round either, and many people would rather avoid shelters, which can be crowded, dangerous, and restrictive: They don’t accommodate pets or partners and severely limit possessions. As the city chips away at its plan to build at least 10,000 affordable housing units by 2021, it’s looking for ways to shelter people in the meantime. These are four alternatives that could be part of the solution.