Moving Toward an Anti-Racist System for Ending and Preventing Homelessness: Latinx Homelessness

Nationally, Latinx homelessness increased by 8% between 2020 and 2022, with a 16% increase in those who were unsheltered (HUD, 2022). These increases outpaced overall increases in homelessness across the nation. Across the largest CoCs nationwide by PIT Count, Latinx homelessness increased more (or decreased less) than the overall homeless population change in every case. In Los Angeles homelessness rose by 4% across the county, but for the Latinx community it rose by nearly 26% (NAEH 2023).

Generally, homeless counts have shown that Latinx homelessness is lower than would be anticipated given community poverty rates. Researchers have proposed that lower than expected homeless rates are due to Latinxs’ reliance on social networks and informal support systems (Aiken et al., 2021). As a result, there has been a prevalent belief that Latinx individuals and families are more likely to avoid homelessness . However, rising point-in-time counts indicate a need to better understand how homelessness is experienced by the Latinx community and what may be behind the troubling trends.

This symposium will help think through what comes next – how do we understand the risks and needs of Latinx community members? What are the most effective ways to prevent further increases in Latinx homelessness? How can we adjust our homeless service and housing assistance programs to welcome Latinx peoples experiencing homelessness and house them? What existing best practices tailored to Latinx communities can we scale?

Presenters and Panelists:

  • Dr. Melissa Chinchilla, Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. Investigator, VISN 22 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center and VA Health Services Research & Development Los Angeles Center of Innovation
  • Rhiannon Diaz, CSH Speak Up! Advocate, A Community of Friends Advisory Board Consultant
  • Isela Gracian, Deputy on Housing and Homelessness, 2nd Supervisorial District of Los Angeles
  • Irene Muro, Executive Director of Whittier First Day
  • Jose “Che” Ramirez, Deputy Mayor for City Homelessness Initiatives, City of Los Angeles


  • Saba Mwine, Managing Director, Homelessness Policy Research Institute
  • Gary Painter, Director, Homelessness Policy Research Institute

View the slide deck HERE

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