Typically, breaking records may be the cause for celebration but not so much in the case of Los Angeles. LA is now the not so proud owner of a record that no other state or city may want to achieve- It has touched a new record number of homeless people. Municipal officials have said that a recent survey found 55,188 homeless individuals living within Los Angeles County limits. The number shows that the homeless has increased by a whopping 25% when compared with last year. Look at data from the year 2007, the this is the highest ever LA has touched in the number of homeless people living here. An alarming and heart wrenching fact about LA's homeless is that some 5000 of them are veterans; the number has increased from past years.
The count includes people living in shelters as well as those living out on the streets. The problem is not a new one for LA but the seriousness of it is escalating to dramatic proportions. Meanwhile, speaking for the homeless service authority, Tom Waldman reassured that they have the ways and means to handle the problem.
Across the country
The new has been more heartening across the country. Until last year, the numbers for homeless people in the country were moving a downward. However, even then, in some western states, the number was moving in exactly the opposite direction. The biggest anomaly here is that the increasing number homeless people is often seen in the states with the highest per capita incomes. Washington has joined the list and so has California. Look deeper and you can see why there is a connection between the per capita income and homelessness rate increases. Rental costs in these locations have gone up in sync with incomes and this has made apartments more unaffordable for those on the lower rung of the ladder. Limited supply of affordable housing options in these locations is yet another contributory factor to the burgeoning homelessness here.
New York and not LA gets the first position
Despite its new record in the number of homeless people, LA can still heave a sigh of relief knowing that it is still not the location with the highest figures here. The first position here is occupied by New York, which 74,000 homeless people are believed to call their home. A small percentage of them still spend the night out on the streets.