Homeless Deaths on the Rise in L.A. County

You’re already aware that the number of people living on L.A.’s streets is up dramatically. Now we know a record number are dying too.

The troubling figures come from Kaiser Health News. It found that 918 homeless people died in Los Angeles County last year. There were 3,612 homeless deaths between 2014 and 2018, with a 76% increase in the past five years.

The number of deaths has outpaced the rise in homelessness itself, according to U.S. News and World Report. One possible cause, officials speculate, is rising substance abuse. Drugs or alcohol are factors in at least a quarter of all homeless deaths in L.A. County.

The analysis found that black males die at higher rates than their white counterparts. Underlying conditions — including mental illnesses, which was not accounted for in the data — are also believed to play a role. 

Read more about rising homeless deaths in L.A. County.