It’s no secret that the Latino population in the United States is steadily rising.
The Nation’s Latino Population Is Defined by Its Youth | Pew Research Center https://t.co/noyKAxWIk9
— Latino Public Radio (@LatPubRadio) January 2, 2017
As the population increases, however, there’s one statistic where Latinos are unfortunately also being represented in greater numbers. The Los Angeles Times reports that in 2016, Los Angeles’ homeless Latino population increased from 27 percent (around 12,500 people) to an even more alarming 35 percent (around 20,200). According to U.S. News & World Report, Los Angeles’ current total homeless population is nearly 58,000 people. Los Angeles consistently has one of the highest homeless populations in the U.S.
In Los Angeles, the city’s population is nearly 48 percent Latino.
— CSII USC (@CSII_USC) June 20, 2017
County Supervisor Hilda Solis described the explosion of Latino homeless in Los Angeles as a “new phenomenon” even though the reasons for the spike are not entirely new. An estimated 20 percent of L.A. County’s Latinos live below the poverty level, making below $47,000 annually. As the Los Angeles Times reported, Latino homelessness is influenced by factors such as increases in rent (a result of gentrification), low paying jobs and a lack of public housing for those who need it.
Undocumented Latinos are especially at risk, the article states, as many have to work several jobs to break even and they are often afraid to reach out to public assistance programs. As Rose Rios of Cover the Homeless Ministry told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s like they live with one foot on a banana peel and the other one step from homelessness.” If conditions do not change, the surge in Los Angeles’ Latino homeless population can be expected to increase.
(MORE: Los Angeles Times)