Diandre Pope said his mother dropped him off at a Hollywood youth shelter when he was 15, and he started to get into trouble.
Now 31, the Watts native stays in an encampment on Hollywood Boulevard, around the corner from a popular fitness club, siphoning power off a utility pole to power his telephone and sampling the capacious offerings — taquitos to hot wings — from a nearby convenience store.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported Wednesday that 6,000 homeless young people like Pope were tallied across the county in January, a 61 percent increase over the 2016 total.
The homeless services agency improved the youth count, Executive Director Peter Lynn said, which could account for part of the jump. But Heidi Calmus of Covenant House California, an international youth homeless services agency with a branch in Hollywood, said the sharp increase was no surprise.
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