Roy on Cold Exposure Deaths of Unhoused People in L.A.

Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare Ananya Roy spoke to The Guardian for a story about 14 unhoused individuals who reportedly froze to death in 2021 in Los Angeles. Despite L.A.’s reputation of year-round sunshine and warm weather, the story cites data showing that hypothermia fatalities have been on the rise in recent years, exceeding the rate in San Francisco and New York City combined. The story also references a report by the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, which tracked deaths of people who were unhoused during the COVID-19 pandemic, and which found that Los Angeles County shelters — while open during cold periods — are not always accessible. “Each time people go through this cycle and are sent back to the streets, they’ve lost social networks and personal belongings, they’ve often had to give up pets or been separated from loved ones, and so they return more vulnerable,” said Roy, director of the Institute.

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