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New Report Shows Alarming Death Rate Among Los Angeles County Homeless Population

New Report Shows Alarming Death Rate Among Los Angeles County Homeless Population

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) released a mortality study that provides new and alarming data on deaths among people experiencing homelessness in LA County. Not only have the number of homeless deaths doubled, from 536 in 2013 to 1,047 in 2018, but the death rate, which accounts for increases in the total number of homeless people, increased by over a third during that same period. Drug and alcohol overdose was the largest contributor to the overall increase in the homeless death rate. From 2016 to 2018, the overdose death rate was 26 times higher among the homeless than among the general population. Other leading causes of homeless deaths included heart disease, traffic injuries, homicide, and suicide.

"This report is tragic, and reflects a true state of emergency on the streets of our community," said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, lead author of the motion. "It is unconscionable and inhumane for society to continue to turn a blind eye to this plight. That's why we recommended that the Board act with urgency and purpose to direct the Department of Public Health to examine and execute strategies that lead to a rapid reduction in these disturbing numbers."

Read more about this report Here