US homeless count rises, pushed by crisis on the West Coast

  • AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

    Thaddeus Bell, 50, who is homeless, sits outside his tent with the street address of his childhood home in Oklahoma hanging on a fence Monday in Los Angeles. “I might be homeless but I’m human just like everybody else,” said Bell. “I deserve a real house like any other person.”

LOS ANGELES — The nation’s homeless population increased this year for the first time since 2010, driven by a surge in the number of people living on the streets in Los Angeles and other West Coast cities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a report Wednesday showing nearly 554,000 homeless people across the country during local tallies conducted in January.

That figure is up nearly 1 percent from 2016.

The number of homeless with no access to nightly shelters who instead stay in vehicles, tents, on the streets or in abandoned buildings also is up — by more than 9 percent compared to two years ago.

Increases are higher in Los Angeles and several other West Coast cities, driven by soaring rents.

  1. randy kansas December 6, 2017 11:09 am Reply

    very sad they cannot afford an apartment or home…..where do all of these homeless in Cali work ?

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