New Report Explores the Racial Dynamics Behind L.A.’s Homeless Crisis

A new report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness has concluded that racism is a driving factor behind the region’s homelessness crisis.

According to the report, African Americans make up more than 1/3 of the homeless people in L.A. County, despite the fact that they constitute just 9% of the general population. That disturbing statistic is owed to the effects of racial bias and discrimination — both explicit and implicit — in housing and public institutions per the report.

“This report is a critical first step to address the collective failings of systems and institutions that — de facto and de jure — have been designed to deliver the painful disparities that affect so many of our brothers and sisters," said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. "Hard work lies ahead to counter this tragic inheritance. If our region is to prosper, it is not only a moral imperative, it is an absolute economic imperative that all who call Los Angeles home are able to attain their full measure of dignity and self-worth."

The Committee laid out 67 recommendations for the county. These include better data collection and tracking of homeless individuals, new racial equity initiatives, greater community outreach, and improved communication across public agencies.

Read the full report here