os Angeles is a golden city of opportunity, yet amidst the glitter and glamour of Hollywood, the city has a darker side. Known as the “Homeless Capital of the Nation,” more than 96,000 people experience homelessness each year in Los Angeles County. On any given night, 48,000 people sleep without a home.
40% of the homeless in Los Angeles are women and children.
Living on the streets, in cars, or in other places unsuitable for human habitation, these women and children are often referred to as the “hidden homeless.” They try to stay out of sight, avoiding the eyes of those who might regard them with judgement, pity—or worse. They have good reason to hide. Many have been victims of violence and crime while living on the street.
Homelessness is a shattering experience that disrupts every aspect of life. Women and children who experience homelessness suffer greatly both physically and emotionally.
Of the immense number of homeless women in our nation:*
- Over one-third have a chronic health problem
- Over 92% have experienced physical or sexual abuse during their lifetime
- 50% of mothers have experienced a major depressive episode since becoming homeless
Children who experience homelessness are:*
- Sick four times more often than other children
- Three times more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems
- Show four times the rate of delayed development
Although the statistics are staggering, there is hope. You can help. Since 1984, Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children has been reaching out to these women and children—the hidden homeless, lifting them out of the despair and fear of life on the streets into the security and hope of stable housing and productive lives.
Click here to find out how you can make a difference.
*National Center on Family Homelessness
Los Angeles homeless statistics were gathered from the 2009 Homeless Count, conducted by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority