In 2016, there were 564,708 people* experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. Closer to home, over 46,000 individuals** were estimated to be homeless on a typical night in Los Angeles County and in West Covina, 158 individuals** experiencing homelessness were counted.
People may become homeless due to lack of affordable housing, decreased employment opportunities, lack of affordable health care, mental illness, substance abuse or domestic violence. Other factors may come into play because no two stories are alike. While some West Covina residents lose their housing and become homeless, homeless individuals also migrate to the City for a variety of reasons: it is perceived as safer than Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, generous residents allow and encourage panhandling, and a community with parks means access to public restrooms and/or showers. The impact of homelessness is significant and the San Gabriel Valley and Southern California as a whole has seen an increase in homeless over the past few years.
The City of West Covina continues to work with its local and regional partners to combat homelessness. While this issue is complex and multi-faceted, the City is committed to balancing public safety, overall health and well-being for our residents and businesses, as well as mitigating nuisance concerns.