County Homelessness Jumps 12 Percent with Pasadena’s Reported Decrease as Rare Bright Spot

The San Gabriel Valley posted an overall 24% increase in recorded homelessness, twice the rate across LA County

Published : Tuesday, June 4, 2019 | 2:09 PM

Pasadena was one of the few bright spots in a Los Angeles County that saw a jump of 12 percent in homelessness over last year.

The annual point-in-time count just delivered to the Board of Supervisors put the number of homeless people just shy of 59,000 countywide. Within the City of Los Angeles, the number soared to more than 36,000, a 16 percent increase.

Pasadena bucked the trend, reporting a 20 percent drop in the number of people without a roof over their head as compared to 2018.

Pasadena Housing Director Bill Huang presented the homeless count report to the City Council during its May 20 meeting.

Huang said the report revealed veterans comprised only six percent of the homeless population in the City.

Families with children on the street also continued a downward trend that started in 2017. Some 14 percent fell into this count category.

According to Huang, 58 percent of the homeless were Pasadena residents before they lost their homes. Just five percent of the total population became homeless outside of L.A. County before migrating to Pasadena.

The January count demonstrated the aging nature of the homeless population. Three in 10 who were surveyed were aged 55 years or older.

“Promising strategies to end family homelessness continue to focus on rapid re-housing and employment support to regain stability and promote long-term self-sufficiency,” the report said.

Across California, cities reported dire homeless count figures, as government officials struggle with the state’s lack of affordable housing. The shortage is driving up rental prices, forcing people onto the streets at a rapid pace, the Times report said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the increase in homelessness heartbreaking, but said he hopes the city’s recent work could alleviate the crisis. “This work has never been for the faint of heart, and we cannot let a set of difficult numbers discourage us, or weaken our resolve,” Garcetti said in a statement.

Los Angeles recently invested $42 million to respond to public health concerns and intensify street-based services, the LA Times said.