California’s Homeless Population Jumps 6 Percent in 2023

California’s Homeless Population Jumps 6 Percent in 2023

A homeless encampment in San Diego, Calif., on Oct. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte


Updated: 1/12/2024

California’s homeless population increased by nearly six percent in 2023, according to an annual report on homelessness released this week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The U.S. population as a whole increased 12 percent—or by 70,650 people—this year, putting the national number at 653,000, the most since 2007 when officials began conducting such a survey, according to the report.
Meanwhile, California, which accounts for 12 percent of the population of the United States, has 28 percent of the country’s homeless—at 181,399, the most of any state.
Nearly 10,000 people in California became homeless between 2022 and 2023, according to the report.
Additionally, in California, only 32 percent of homeless people are sheltered—living in shelters or temporary housing—while 68 percent are unsheltered, meaning living on the streets.
Nevertheless, those numbers are an improvement, since the number of sheltered individuals statewide increased by 11 percent or 3,715 people, according to the report.
However, in all five major California cities, more than 70 percent of those experiencing homelessness were still unsheltered.
In San Jose, 75 percent were unsheltered; in Los Angeles and Oakland, 73 percent respectively; and Long Beach and Sacramento both saw 72 percent of its homeless population unsheltered, according to the report.
Meanwhile, there were 25,483 people in the state who were homeless as part of a family—with about 23.5 percent of those unsheltered.
Additionally, there were 10,173 homeless who are “unaccompanied youth” in California, with the largest concentration in San Francisco with 1,113.
And nationally, the three cities with the highest rates of unsheltered youth were all found in California: San Jose with 86 percent, San Francisco with 81 percent, and Oakland with 77 percent.
Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte


Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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