Record Number of Homeless People Dying Across L.A. County

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Los Angeles financial district skyscrapers are seen behind a tent encampment on Sep. 23, 2015, in downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Los Angeles financial district skyscrapers are seen behind a tent encampment on Sep. 23, 2015, in downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

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A record number of homeless people are dying across Los Angeles County — on bus benches, hillsides, railroad tracks and sidewalks.

Last year alone, 918 people died. And in the last five years, deaths have jumped 76%, outpacing the growth of the homeless population, according to an analysis of county coroner data by Kaiser Health News.

So far, health officials and experts have been unable to pinpoint a single cause for the increase, but say rising substance abuse may be a major reason.

The surge also reflects a rise in the number of people who are chronically homeless and who don’t typically use shelters, meaning more people are living longer on the streets with serious physical and behavioral health issues, they say.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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