Roy on ‘Impoverishment and Abandonment’ on L.A. Streets

The Guardian, CalMatters and other media outlets spotlighted a study from the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy that gauged the death toll among Los Angeles County’s unhoused population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March 2020 and July 2021, nearly 1,500 people died on the streets or in outdoor spaces including freeway underpasses, parks, sidewalks, dumpsters, abandoned buildings, bus stops, tents, riverbeds, railroads and encampments, the study found. The number does not include those who died in hospitals, shelters or cars. The CalMatters piece focused on the most common cause of death: accidental overdose. The Guardian noted that the average age of unhoused residents who died was 47, a finding that II&D Director Ananya Roy found particularly disturbing. “We’ve got to get serious about using that metric to understand the levels of impoverishment and abandonment here in the U.S.,” she said. The Independent, Planetizen and Insider were among other media covering the study.


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