Long Beach reports 4.6% jump in homelessness in annual count, smallest increase since 2019

City News Service
Friday, April 28, 2023
Long Beach reports 4.6% jump in homelessness in annual count
Long Beach reports 4.6% jump in homelessness in annual count

LONG BEACH, Calif. (CNS) -- Long Beach tallied 3,447 homeless people in the city during a point-in-time count conducted in January, a slight increase from 3,296 counted in 2022, city officials announced Thursday.

The 4.6% increase was the smallest year-over-year increase reported by the city since 2019.

"While the slowdown in growth reflected in the point in time count is encouraging, we must remain focused on the urgent need to address the systemic causes of homelessness," Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement. "Together, we can continue to make a difference and ensure that every member of our community has a place to call home."

City officials noted that between 2019 and 2020, the point-in-time count showed a 7% increase in homelessness in the city. The number increased 62% between 2020 and 2022 -- with the 2021 count canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's count was conducted Jan. 26. According to the data collected, the number of people reporting first-time homelessness in the count rose by 18% from the previous year, from 1,549 to 1,827. Of those, 59% were sheltered, and 18% reported living in a vehicle. The survey found that people experiencing homelessness for the first time are more willing to accept shelter.

Of the homeless surveyed, 35.2% were Latino/a, while 32.4% were Black and 23.1% white.

City officials noted that while homelessness overall increased by 4.6%, there was a 20% reduction in homeless veterans, falling from 451 last year to 361 this year.

"Addressing the issue of homelessness is of top priority in Long Beach," City Manager Tom Modica said in a statement. "The city is working diligently and has taken a number of meaningful actions to tackle the crisis, working across departments and collaborating with regional partners, but we know there is much more work to be done and we will remain steadfast in our efforts."

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