New tally shows 19 percent more homeless in San Diego than in 2015
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A tally released Friday by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless reports there’s almost 19 percent more people living on the streets than there were last year.
The "WeAllCount" campaign, also known as the "Point-in-Time," found a total of 8,692 people living on the streets or in shelters, a 0.6 percent decrease from last year.
Within the total, there is a mix of bad and good news.
On the down side, 4,940 people were living without a roof over their heads, 18.9 percent more than in 2015. The RTFH said the 1,676 volunteers who took part in the predawn count on Jan. 29 found a 69 percent rise in people in tents or hand-made structures.
Progress was seen in other areas, including a decrease of 16.2 percent in all veteran homelessness, a 12.6 percent decline in unsheltered families and a drop of 13 percent in chronic homelessness.
“Communities around the country who are declaring an end to homelessness are doing so with a focus on real solutions like Housing First and permanent supportive housing,” said San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria, who chairs the Regional Continuum of Care Council. “These results show promise, particularly with our efforts to end Veteran homelessness, and I applaud all of our partners working to make this happen. We must stay focused on a regional and collaborative approach and advocate for San Diego’s fair share of federal funding to address the complex issue of homelessness. I will not be satisfied until all San Diegans have a place to call home.”
"While the increase in the number of unsheltered homeless persons is disappointing we are seeing reductions in veteran, family and chronic homeless in our community,” said Dolores Diaz, the task force’s executive director. "These reductions would not have been possible without the partnership of homeless service providers and targeted federal, local, state and private resources.”
The results of the annual count help set state and federal funding levels for local programs, and can be used by San Diego officials to prioritize strategies for getting the homeless off the streets.