2022 Homeless Count shows a 66 percent reduction in people experiencing homelessness in Malibu

Every year, thousands of volunteers help The Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) with the street count of the county’s homeless population, providing data from the field to inform efforts to address homelessness across Los Angeles County.

LAHSA released the 2022 homeless count results for Los Angeles. In Los Angeles County, 69,144 people were found to be experiencing homelessness, a 4.1 percent increase from 2020. The count took place on Feb. 23. In Malibu, the data shows 81 people experiencing homelessness in Malibu, a decline from 239 in 2020 and 157 in 2021.

City staff, Malibu’s Homeless Outreach Team from The People Concern, and community volunteers helped conduct the annual effort on foot and in vehicles to count the homeless population within city limits. 

“On behalf of the City of Malibu, I thank our partners at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, The People Concern, the Las Virgenes — Malibu Council of Governments, the Malibu Homelessness Working Group, the Homelessness Task Force, the Malibu United Methodist Church, Malibu Community Assistance Resource Team (CART), and the community at large for the proactive, service-driven approach to addressing homelessness in the City,” Mayor Paul Grisanti said in a press release.

The 2020 Homeless Count results showed 239 homeless people in Malibu, up from 154 in 2019, and 155 in 2018. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LAHSA did not conduct the Homeless Count in 2021. However, an informal count performed by the Malibu Homelessness Working Group showed 157 unhoused people in Malibu. 

The decrease in homelessness reflects the positive results of the work by the Malibu Homeless Outreach Team since being enlisted and funded by the city in 2016, in coordination with city staff and the LASD’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST). To see the Homeless Outreach Team’s monthly reports, visit https://www.malibucity.org/1051/Outreach-Support

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LAHSA recommended that every jurisdiction in LA County continue increasing its housing investments. National best practices show that a rehousing system works most effectively to reduce homelessness when there are five permanent housing units available for every shelter bed. LA’s current ratio is one housing exit per shelter bed.  

With help from the federal government and the State of California through innovative non-congregate shelter programs like Project Roomkey and Project Homekey, LA County saw a 12 percent increase in its sheltered population (20,596 people) over 2020, while LA City’s sheltered population grew by 8.7 percent (13,522 people). The City of LA also saw a 1.4 percent drop in the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. 

“These numbers reinforce truths that everyone who works tirelessly on this knows in their hearts and minds: visible and lasting progress can only come through investments in long-term, affordable, and quality housing solutions,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a press release. “It is encouraging to learn that our efforts to confront this crisis have not been in vain, and I know that if we keep doubling down on the historic investments we’ve made, working together and continue to treat every person living on our streets with compassion and humanity we will become a more resilient, fair, and just city.”  

The count found 69,144 homeless people in LA County, (up from 66,436 in 2020), of which 20,596 were sheltered (up from 18,395 in 2020), and 48,548 were unsheltered (up from 48,041 in 2020). Service Planning Area 5, which includes Malibu, Santa Monica and West Los Angeles, counted a total of 4,604 people (down from 6009 in 2020, the last time the Homeless Count was conducted). To see detailed results for SPA 5 and the County, visit LAHSA’s website at https://www.lahsa.org/documents?id=6510-spa-5-hc2022-data-summary.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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