Long Beach recorded 3,447 homeless people in the city when last counted in January, a slight increase from the 3,296 counted in 2022, city officials said Thursday.

The 4.6% increase was the lowest year-over-year increase reported by the city since 2019.

“While the slower growth reflected at this time is encouraging, we must remain focused on the urgent need to address the systemic causes of homelessness,” Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement.

“Together we can continue to make a difference and ensure that every member of our community has a place to call home.”

City officials noted that between 2019 and 2020, the tally showed a 7% increase in homelessness in the city. The number increased by 62% between 2020 and 2022, as the count for 2021 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s count was made on January 26.

There is discontent among some Long Beach residents over a homeless shelter that will operate in a park, which is primarily used by children and families.

According to the data collected, the number of people reporting homelessness for the first time in the count increased by 18% compared to the previous year, from 1,549 to 1,827. Of these, 59% were in temporary shelters and 18% said they lived in a vehicle.

The survey revealed that first-time homeless people are more willing to accept shelter.

Of the homeless people surveyed, 35.2% were Latino, while 32.4% were black and 23.1% white.

City officials noted that while overall homelessness has increased by 4.6%, there has been a 20% reduction in the number of homeless veterans, from 451 last year to 361 this year. .

“Addressing homelessness is a top priority in Long Beach,” City Manager Tom Modica said in a statement. “The city is working diligently and has taken a number of important steps to address the crisis, working across departments and collaborating with regional partners, but I know there is still a lot of work to do and we will remain steadfast in our efforts.”

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