Chapter 1: Understanding the crisis

Root causes: structural racism

Systemic racism plays a huge role in our homelessness crisis. Discrimination and anti-Black racism inform not only individual attitudes toward people experiencing homelessness, but also policies and other structural barriers.

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The 2020 Homeless Count was conducted in early 2020, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These numbers don’t reflect the vast amount of people who have been displaced, nor those who have been thrown to the verge of homelessness, during the pandemic. Still, they clearly demonstrate the systemic nature of our crisis.

Showing the depths of the crisis in L.A. County, the 2020 Homeless Count results demonstrate specifically the role that systemic racism plays, with Black people 4 times more likely than white people to experience homelessness.

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Solutions to our homelessness crisis

Homelessness is a complicated, enormous problem. The good news is that we know how to solve it. For the first time, L.A. County has a comprehensive plan and the necessary resources to enact it. One major pillar of this plan is creating more supportive and affordable housing. This is where we focus most of our advocacy efforts.

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