L.A.'s Latest Homeless Statistics Are Terrifying

The number of people living on Los Angeles’ streets has skyrocketed in the past year, with the latest figures putting the county’s homeless population at 53,000 -- an increase of 23 percent. Homelessness is up across every single category: women, families, veterans, and especially those 24 and under.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn called the numbers “staggering.”

“There’s no sugarcoating the bad news,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti acknowledged. So, what on earth is going on?

Experts are pointing the finger at stagnant incomes and increasingly unaffordable housing. In L.A. and Orange County -- which also saw a large increase in homelessness -- housing costs now exceed 30% of income for over 2 million households. For many, rents are simply out of reach. They’re now flooding into vehicles and onto streets for a night’s rest.

There was just one silver lining in the report. Thanks to intense efforts to get homeless people off the streets, the number of unsheltered indigents was down. But in the long-run, it’s of little consolation. Without permanent housing, these people are stuck in a hellish limbo unworthy of the fifth largest economy in the world.