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Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors expected to declare state of emergency over homelessness

The number of homeless people in LA County has nearly doubled since 2013.

January 10, 2023 12:13pm

Updated: January 10, 2023 3:39pm

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to pass a motion Tuesday to declare a state of emergency due to the homelessness crisis, which exploded during the COVID pandemic. 

The motion on homelessness comes in response to Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass' emergency declaration she made on the issue last month during her second day in office.

More than 69,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County, according to the 2022 homeless count. The last pre-pandemic homeless count found nearly 59,000 people were homeless. The population of homeless people has almost doubled since 2013. Nearly 2,000 homeless people die every year in LA County, the board said.

"Proclaiming a local emergency to address this critical crisis will provide the County with additional tools to accelerate and expand its response," the county resolution states. 

The resolution would allow the county to quickly hire more employees to fight the crisis, use funds differently and request resources from the state and federal governments.

"Solving homelessness is beyond the scope of County resources," the resolution states.

"This is all driven by public reaction to the proliferation of homeless encampments over the past two or three years," UCLA Law School professor emeritus Gary Blasi told The Los Angeles Times. "Any politician who doesn't make some progress on this is going to be in some significant trouble."

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