2018 Homeless Count Photo Essay

2018 Los Angeles Homeless Count Photo Essay

Earlier this month the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released results of the annual homeless count, and for the first time in four years, the new numbers showed Los Angeles saw a 5 percent decrease in homelessness within city limits.

Lawmakers used the results as a chance to celebrate the impact of Proposition HHH, last year’s successful ballot measure that was promoted as a plan to end homelessness in 10 years, while residents of Skid Row largely expressed skepticism about the numbers on social media.

According to the LAHSA, Skid Row – the 50 block radius downtown known as ground zero for homelessness, substance and mental health in America – saw a modest 7 percent decrease in homelessness. But on the streets, it’s difficult to distinguish Skid Row last year and Skid Row today.

For a long time there’s been a disconnect between lawmakers, voters and the homeless population in LA. Proposition HHH represents just the latest voter approved plan to end homeless but the conversation is still missing an important voice, the people that will ultimately prevail or perish under this new legislation–the homeless. The program is also said to be behind an estimated 4,000 units, based on the current rate of spending.

To better understand the accuracy and impact of the LAHSA homeless count, I visited Skid Row over a three-day time period. I spoke and hung out with unhoused residents and their family members, as well as community leaders, and documented these images to help paint a picture of what a 7 percent decrease in homelessness actually looks like.

This photo essay was originally published by LA TACO, here.