Nithya Raman, Kevin De León got more homeless people off the street. Will that sway voters?

Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

At the same time, the L.A. Homeless Services Authority, the city and county agency that oversees homelessness, didn't release council district-specific homelessness numbers in 2023.

Unsheltered homelessness grew 15% in Los Angeles in 2023 compared with 2022, according to LAHSA. Since the 2015 count, overall homelessness has increased by 80% in the city.

Jason Ward, an economist at the Santa Monica-based Rand Corp., a nonprofit research institute, has been studying homelessness in Hollywood, Skid Row and Venice since 2021.

He said it's "probably reasonable" to deduce that the number of citywide encampments has declined given the various programs underway, including Mayor Karen Bass' Inside Safe program, which places people into hotel and motel rooms.

"Even in Skid Row, there's a moderation and a flat pool of people, rather than an upward trend," he said.

On a windy morning in May 2023 two staffers from Raman's office joined homelessness outreach workers to visit a series of ragged tents along the L.A. River's concrete banks.


The group was there to introduce themselves, part of the process of trying to coax people to move into shelters.

The program, launched with state and federal funds, is one of the ways that Raman's office has moved more than 500 people in her district into shelter, according to her office.

More than a dozen major encampments in Raman's district, including a corridor of RVs along Victory Boulevard in Reseda, were cleared, according to her office.

Monthly community events for the unhoused hosted by Raman's office offer haircuts, showers, and access to identification cards and shelter.


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