“If you took out Los Angeles, national homelessness would have dropped last year for the first time since the recession.” 

 That is the dramatic conclusion of data cited in a Feb. 1 Los Angeles Times article tracing the history of L.A.’s growing homeless crisis. 

The data shows L.A. ranks near last in sheltering homeless among major U.S. cities, with less than 30 percent of homeless residents in any kind of shelter. 

Even after L.A. voters approved a $4.6 billion tax increase to fund shelters, affordable housing and support teams for the homeless, questions remain over what it will take to stop the spread of a crisis “decades in the making.” 

“We are moving more homeless families and adults into housing,” Phil Ansell, director of the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative told the Times. “What we have less control over is the inflow: people who simply are unable to pay the rent.”

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