The Homeless in Los Angeles County: Understanding the Challenges to Provide More Effective and Efficient Solutions

Homelessness is a wicked problem that is having a tremendous impact on Los Angeles County. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (2019), there are about 58,936 homeless individuals throughout the entire county. There are several speculations about how and why homelessness exists. The actions to combat homelessness have proven insufficient to eliminate the problem. This research project proposes to gather, organize and present data on this elusive and intractable problem in order to convince policymakers to take more different measures. Interviews will be conducted with experts to explore better strategies to combat homelessness. Surveys will then be presented to taxpayers to determine their level of support. This project asks: is Los Angeles County ready for radical change when it comes to the fight against homelessness? Radical change means newer initiates that are much more aggressive and demanding to bring forth rapid change at an accelerated pace unlike never seen before. The advocacy coalition framework based on Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith will help demonstrate how data produced from this research can be used towards going for a new direction to eliminate homelessness. This research will benefit Los Angeles County towards helping make this wicked problem a higher priority and will influence policy makers to bring forth better strategies to prevent homelessness.