Jan 26, 2023
In this report, researchers present findings from a study of unsheltered homelessness in three areas of Los Angeles: Hollywood, Skid Row, and Venice. The results indicate growth in the number of Angelenos experiencing unsheltered homelessness from 2021 to 2022. Survey results indicate that most respondents have spent long periods living on the streets and most indicate a desire for housing solutions with some level of privacy.
Los Angeles' unprecedented homelessness crisis has become the region's most serious policy problem in recent years, but little is known about trends in the size and composition of the unsheltered population, and there is a significant lack of information about the housing needs and preferences of unsheltered Angelenos and their experiences with the county housing provision infrastructure.
To better inform the development of effective homelessness policy, RAND researchers developed the Los Angeles Longitudinal Enumeration and Demographic Survey (LA LEADS) Project to document the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness over the course of a year in the Hollywood, Skid Row, and Venice neighborhoods of Los Angeles—areas with historically high concentrations of street homelessness. In addition, researchers surveyed a large subsample of these individuals to collect data on demographics, experiences with the housing system, and housing needs and preferences. In this report, the researchers present full study findings.
The findings indicate that the populations of these areas grew by an average of 18 percent from late 2021 to late 2022. Additionally, survey results indicate that most respondents have spent long periods living continuously on the streets and that the vast majority of respondents are interested in obtaining housing and indicate a willingness to come indoors for housing solutions with some level of privacy and autonomy. The researchers also assess the confluence between RAND study data and data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's (LAHSA's) annual homelessness count and demographic survey and present suggestions for improving future data collection efforts.