Overdoses, not COVID-19, drive spike in LA homeless deaths

Homeless Deaths Los Angeles
Posted at 4:58 PM, Apr 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-23 16:58:08-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new report shows that nearly 2,000 homeless people died in Los Angeles County during the first year of the pandemic, an increase of 56% from the previous year, driven mainly by drug overdoses.

The findings released Friday in a report from the county’s Department of Public Health showed that despite initial fears, the virus itself was not the main culprit in deaths among California’s largest-in-the-nation unhoused population.

But it did cut people off from mental health and substance abuse treatment after services were drastically reduced to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Department of Public Health reported 715 fatal overdoses among homeless people in the pandemic's first year.