Homelessness drops slightly across Los Angeles County

June 1, 2018 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of homeless people counted across Los Angeles County has fallen for the first time in four years.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority said Thursday that January’s annual count found 53,195 homeless people in the county. That’s down 3 percent from last year.

The number fell 5 percent in the city of LA, to 31,516.

Mayor Eric Garcetti says the overall decrease shows strategies to reduce homelessness are working.

But officials say the number of people becoming newly homeless increased, potentially tempering any gains.

The count came as money started coming in from two ballot measures aimed at reducing homelessness. One allows LA to issue $1.2 billion in bonds to construct housing. The other makes $355 million in sales tax revenue available for services across the county.