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Report: California has the country’s largest homeless population

More than 171,000 people are homeless in California on a typical day, by far the most of any state, according to a study released June 20.

Overall, California accounts for 30 percent of the nation’s homeless population, a group that is usually older than the average U.S. resident and either black or Native American, the report by the University of California San Francisco found.

The study, one of the most comprehensive looks at California’s homeless problem ever undertaken, was conducted by the university’s Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at the request of state officials.

It found that 90 percent of the state’s homeless population lost their last home in California, that nearly 40 percent of those surveyed were homeless for the first time, and that the median length of an individual’s time without a permanent place to live was 22 months.

Thirty-six percent of the state’s homeless meet the federal government’s definition of chronically homeless, which is anyone who has lived in a safe haven, an emergency shelter, or a place unsuitable for human habitation for at least 12 months.

The research was conducted between October 2021 and November 2022, with more than 3,200 people surveyed, according to the report.

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