LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A new study shows that nearly half of the people who make up the homeless population in the Los Angeles area were recently employed.
The report found that 74 percent of people experiencing homelessness previously worked in California. Nearly 47 percent were found to have worked within four years of becoming homeless. Nineteen percent worked in the calendar quarter they became homeless.READ MORE: LAFD Knocks Down 4-Acre Blaze In Remote Section Of Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park
“There’s often an assumption that people experiencing homelessness are not working,” said Till von Wachter, a co-author of the report and faculty director of the California Policy Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Von Wachter also acknowledged that there were some people in the study experiencing homelessness who hadn’t worked in a long time. He also said that recent workers had a higher likelihood of getting back to work after receiving homeless services and had higher average earnings.
The income of people who worked before becoming homeless was $9,970, far below the average medium income for the L.A. area, which is $61,015, according to a news release about the study.
Factors like mental and physical health, age and work history impacted the likelihood of finding employment after enrolling in homeless services. The study found that 65 percent of the people in the study worked in the following job categories before enrolling in homeless services: administrative support, waste management and remediation (28 percent); health care and social assistance (14 percent); accommodation and food (12 percent); and retail (11 percent).READ MORE: Caught On Video: Naked Man Burglarizes Bel-Air Home Before Coming Face To Face With Unsuspecting Homeowner
The study’s authors wrote that more research will need to be conducted to develop policy recommendations, look into the relationship between job loss and homelessness, and examine how workforce and training programs can impact homelessness.
The study examined more than 130,000 people who received homeless services in L.A. County. Results were published Feb. 26 by the California Policy Lab at UCLA.
There are nearly 60,000 people experiencing homelessness in the L.A. area on any given night, according to the L.A. Homeless Services Authority.
Gov. Gavin Newsom made homelessness the focal point of his State of the State address Feb. 19, calling it “the most pernicious crisis in our midst, the ultimate manifestation of poverty.”MORE NEWS: Caught On Tape: San Bernardino Sheriff Deputy Kicks Surrendered Suspect In Head 2 times