Homeless Deaths Are Surging in L.A. County

Health workers will be deployed to L.A. County streets and shelters to evaluate its 59,000 homeless residents. The Board of Supervisors approved the item Tuesday after “sobering” numbers revealed the number of homeless deaths had nearly doubled from 2013 to 2018.

“This report is tragic, and reflects a true state of emergency on the streets of our community," Supervision Mark Ridley-Thomas said of the new Health Department statistics. "It is unconscionable and inhumane for society to continue to turn a blind eye to this plight."

According to Public Health, 1,047 homeless people died in 2018. In 2013, that number was 536. Director Barbara Ferrer said it wasn’t just s matter of the growing homeless population. The death rate among the population is also increasing.

Alcohol and drug abuse accounted for the greatest number of deaths.

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