As people living in tents, RVs and makeshift shelters become a fact of life in neighborhoods far and wide, homelessness is now an all-consuming issue in Los Angeles County, with 95% of voters calling it a serious or very serious problem, according to a new poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Council Institute.
The near-unanimous opinion that homelessness ranks as a top concern marks a sharp change from earlier surveys of Los Angeles voters over the past dozen years, said Fred Yang of Hart Research, the Washington, D.C., polling firm that conducted the survey.
Only traffic congestion and housing affordability — at 88% and 85%, respectively — came close to rivaling the near universal concern over homelessness.
“It’s all over L.A.,” said Justine Marine, a student who participated in a focus group tied to the countywide poll. “You can be in a good neighborhood, and it could be right around the corner. You can’t escape it.”