Homeless in California and Long Beach

According to the 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (DUH), there is a total of 564,708 homeless people nationwide in the U.S., among which 31% of them are unsheltered. Although the nation’s homeless rate is decreasing, Southern California contains the largest homeless population in the country overall. There is a total of 115,738 homeless in California, of which 64% are unsheltered.

Long Beach is ranked as the fourth-highest rate of unsheltered homeless among major cities in the nation in the 2015 AHAR Report. There are a total of 2,345 homeless by year of 2015, among whom 1,513 are unsheltered and 832 are sheltered, according to the data released by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Homeless Services Division(for details, see Homeless Data Exchange (HDX)).

According to the 2015 AHAR report, Long Beach also has the second-highest population of unsheltered homeless people in families with children in major cities with a number of 408 individuals, followed by Los Angeles city and county, which is ranked on the top with a number of 7,505 individuals.

The report also found that there were 905 chronically homeless people in Long Beach and 12,356 chronically homeless people in Los Angeles city and county — the highest population listed in the report. A chronically homeless individual is defined as an individual who has been continuously homeless for one year or at least four times in the past three years and has a disabling condition, such as a substance use disorder or a mental illness, according to the DUH.

Although the HDX report shows that there are decreases in the number of homeless from year 2013 to 2015, health and social problems of homeless remain a significant concern for Long Beach city.