Letters to the Editor: Is Rick Caruso’s ‘short-term’ homelessness plan what L.A. needs?
This week, we look at some of the latest news out of Los Angeles about homelessness, with a focus on the issue of “short-term” homelessness, or what one homeless advocate calls “stay-one-night” homelessness.
As I mentioned in last week’s column, we’re now in the third year of “stay-one-night” homelessness in Los Angeles County. While we’ve seen numbers go from more than 1,700 such individuals per year to nearly 1,000 over the past five years, the overall homeless population in Los Angeles County has grown faster than any other metropolitan area in the country.
It’s an issue that we’ve addressed here in our series The End of Short-Term Homelessness.
In a new report entitled “The Long-Term Impact of Short-Term Homelessness in the Greater Los Angeles Area: A Population-Based Study,” published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, researchers from the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine and Stanford University School of Medicine looked at how long-term homeless individuals fare once they become “stay-one-night” homeless.
While previous research has not looked at exactly how many homeless individuals receive short-term assistance in L.A. County, this new study examined the data from the 2017 Point-In-Time survey conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, which provides some insights on the number of individuals that become “stay-one-night” homeless.
In the 2017 Point-In-Time survey, which was conducted on May 10-16, 1,541 homeless individuals were assessed for homelessness status, which is defined as having lived on the streets or in shelters for at least one day in the past year.
Of that number, 636 (42 percent) were “stay-one-night” homeless, which is defined as those who have received assistance for one night or less in the past year — meaning they received any assistance from the L.A. County Department of Public Social Services or any private