Over the last few weeks, several agencies have released results from 2019 Homeless Counts, a census of the homeless population. The data collected from these Homeless Counts help direct resources where they are needed most, and plays a vital role in understanding the state of homelessness in each community.
- Santa Clara County: 31% increase. From 7,394 to 9,706 people.
- Los Angeles County: 12% increase. From 52,765 to 58,936 people.
- San Diego County: 6% decrease. From 8,576 to 8,102.
- Santa Barbara County: 3% decrease. From 1,860 to 1,803.
- Kern County: 50% increase. From 885 to 1,330 people.
- Ventura County: 5% increase. From 1,299 to 1,669 people.
Officials in Santa Clara and Los Angeles County attribute the increase to economic factors like low wages despite the growing rental costs, unjust evictions, and lack of new affordable housing units. San Diego County implemented changes to the methodology to meet HUD requirements, and it is presumed that the number of people experiencing homelessness remains about the same since 2018. In Santa Barbara, more individuals are living on the streets compared to shelters, but the number has decreased since 2017.
Kern County saw an increase in the number of volunteers who participated in the count, resulting in a more comprehensive count, and also attributes the rise to lack of affordable housing. Ventura County links their increase to improvements in the methodology of the homeless count, rising rents, and low housing vacancy rates made worse by wildfires.
PATH works to address these issues by providing interim housing, connecting our clients with opportunities to increase their incomes through employment and benefits advocacy, engaging in robust partnerships with property owners, and, through PATH Ventures, adding to the supply of affordable homes by building affordable and supportive apartment communities.
Despite these sobering numbers, PATH is making progress towards ending homelessness for thousands of Californians every year. In the last year alone, PATH has served 13,503 people, and moved more than 857 people off the streets and into homes, and we could not do it without your help.
Please make a donation today to support our mission by contributing to the Making It Home campaign. 100% of your donation will go directly toward helping our homeless neighbors make it off the streets and into homes of their own. Click here to give.