The Homeless Are Dying In Record Numbers On The Streets Of L.A.

point-in-time count of homeless residents, an increase of about 39% since 2014. The majority were not living in shelters.

life expectancy for women in California in 2016 was 83 and 79 for men — among the best longevity statistics in the nation.

Over the five-year period in L.A. County, there also was a sharp increase in deaths of younger adults who were homeless. For instance, the deaths of adults under 45 more than doubled.

The data does not include information about mental illnesses, which Elias of the coroner’s office said could be a contributing factor in some of the deaths.

Stephen Rosenstein, 59, was walking across the street in Panorama City, an L.A. neighborhood, when a car struck and killed him one night early last year, said his sister, Cindy Garcia. He had spent years bouncing from the streets to shelters to board-and-care homes, she said.

Rosenstein had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and manic depression, Garcia said, and often resisted help — behavior she attributed to his mental illness. “Most people would want to have a roof over your head,” she said. “He just fought it all the way.”

Rosenstein’s cause of death was listed as “traumatic injuries.” Deaths by trauma or violence were common among the homeless in the period analyzed: At least 800 people died from trauma, and of those, about 200 were shot or stabbed.

“They are ready for bad luck to happen,” King said.

This KHN story first published on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.

[email protected], @AnnaGorman

Harriet Blair Rowan: [email protected], @HattieRowan

Related Topics

California Mental Health Multimedia Public Health Homeless

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