Homeless Die in Doorways in L.A. Amid Nationwide Surge in Deaths

Homeless people are dying in the doorways of storefronts on the streets of L.A. amid a nationwide surge in deaths among the homeless population in the midst of a cold and stormy winter.

Deaths within the homeless population rose in many U.S. cities in 2022. In Reno, Nevada, for example, the number of homeless deaths doubled in 2022 from the year before; Seattle and King County saw the highest number of homeless deaths in two decades, at 270 people.

Though the immediate causes of death vary, from exposure to COVID, one cause is drug overdoses. There were nearly 108,000 deaths from drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021, many caused by the spread of lethal fentanyl.

Some critics of current homelessness policies argue that drugs are being overlooked as a cause of the deaths.

Deaths are partly caused by cold conditions: five homeless people died in one recent cold snap in Seattle, for example. But even warm-weather cities are seeing a shocking rise in homeless deaths

The San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported that the city saw a record 574 homeless deaths in 2022, up 7% from the year before — and 39% from 2020. It added that the true number of homeless deaths was likely higher.

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