For Raines and her team, the state of Los Angeles’ homelessness problem is too severe to ignore, so they’re doing all they can to help. Over the past six years, the number of people experiencing homelessness in L.A. has increased by 75% to over 50,000 people, but it’s not an isolated epidemic. It’s estimated that 553,000 people across the country were experiencing homelessness on any given night in 2018 — 39% of them were women and girls — which is an overall 4,300 person increase from 2017, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). But that’s just what the government can physically see; the numbers are widely believed to be underreported because those experiencing homelessness are difficult to accurately count, especially if they’re sleeping in tents, cars, or large-scale encampments.
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