The number of homeless people in the United States has increased for the first time since 2010, driven by a surge in the number of people living on the streets in Los Angeles, California, and other West Coast cities, according to a new government study.
Nearly 554,000 people were homeless across America during a one-night count in January of this year, a nearly 1 percent increase from 2016, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a report released Wednesday.
Of that total, 193,000 people were unsheltered, meaning they had no access to nightly shelter and instead were staying in the streets, tents, vehicles and other places considered uninhabitable.
Increases are higher in several West Coast cities, where the explosion in homelessness has prompted at least 10 city and county governments to declare states of emergency since 2015.
Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs saw their total homeless count top 55,000 people this…