SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA — Homelessness in San Diego has grown by no less than 10% since 2020, the Regional Task Force on Homelessness revealed Thursday by releasing its 2022 WeAllCount Point-in-Time Count, a one-day snapshot of the minimal variety of San Diegans dwelling in emergency shelters, transitional housing, protected havens and on streets and alongside riverbeds.
The rely discovered 8,427 folks experiencing homelessness throughout San Diego County, a minimal quantity.
“The challenges of finding every person in a car, canyon, or under a bridge, is impossible, but every effort is made to find and engage as many people as we can,” an announcement from the RTFH learn.
This quantity included 4,106 unsheltered San Diegans, with 4,321 people in shelters. Of these surveyed, 85% stated that they had fallen into homelessness whereas dwelling within the area.
The PITC was performed this year in February by greater than 1,400 volunteers throughout the county. It was the primary such rely since January 2020, earlier than the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the next enhance in shelter choices.
The Regional Task Force on Homelessness stated comparisons between 2020 and 2022 shouldn’t be measured by the identical customary and that heavy rains the night time earlier than and frigid temperatures the morning of the rely could have impacted the variety of folks sleeping exterior. Still, the entire variety of folks sleeping exterior with out shelter elevated by 3%.
“These data points give context to a crisis we already see with our own eyes,” stated Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, who represents the county on RTFH’s Continuum of Care Advisory Board. “The homelessness crisis has changed a lot in two years, and with this information we can do a better job of providing the right kind of help based on people’s unique problems, or better yet, make sure they never lose their home in the first place.”
There are some vibrant spots within the information, the duty power claims, together with a 30% lower within the veteran homeless inhabitants and a 7% lower within the persistent homlessness inhabitants versus 2020. The county additionally noticed a rise in transitional aged youth in shelters. Additional shelter choices all through the area additionally made a distinction in addition to a big housing effort in downtown San Diego housing roughly 150 San Diegans the week main as much as the rely.
“The latest numbers confirm what we all see and what we hear from members of our community every day — that our homelessness crisis is getting worse,” stated San Diego Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. “We must take every opportunity, explore every idea and do all we can to house the unsheltered and prevent more San Diegans from falling into homelessness.
“Housing is a human proper and we in positions of management have an ethical obligation to make subsequent year’s Point in Time Count an indication of progress towards the belief of that proper,” he said.
Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO at Father Joe’s Villages, one of San Diego’s largest homelessness services providers, said problems could compound with increasing cost of living.
“These numbers replicate the rise in want for reasonably priced housing and complete applications amidst the fast inflation and skyrocketing lease and housing costs in San Diego,” he said. “When the price of dwelling goes up, extra individuals are prone to enter or be vulnerable to homelessness.
“Right now, with the line for our food pantry stretching a quarter mile long, we know people are being heavily impacted by inflation and housing costs,” Vargas stated. “Low-income families are more susceptible than ever to fall into homelessness.”
The Point-in-Time Count noticed a rise in households experiencing homelessness, up 56% from 2020. Black San Diegans, who make up below 5% of the entire inhabitants in San Diego County, made up 24% of the area’s unsheltered homeless inhabitants.
“The Point-in-Time Count is about much more than numbers – it’s about people,” RTFH CEO Tamera Kohler stated. “Right now too many people are suffering in San Diego. They’re mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. They fell into homelessness due to a lost job, a lost spouse or some other crisis beyond their control.
“Add in the truth that we reside in the most costly housing market within the nation, the place double digit lease will increase are widespread, and you’ll see why too many San Diegans are left behind,” she said. “The folks our volunteers spoke to — from a senior with Alzheimer’s sleeping in a tent, to a household sheltering of their automotive, to folks with a full time job however not sufficient revenue to pay lease — aren’t simply numbers on a spreadsheet. They’re our neighbors, doing their finest to outlive.”
While 24% of San Diegans experiencing homelessness were over 55 in both 2020 and 2022, this year’s count showed 47% of those seniors were experiencing homelessness for the first time, with 57% having a physical disability. The oldest person surveyed living on the street in San Diego County was 87.
“Sadly, these numbers usually are not a shock,” said Serving Seniors CEO Paul Downey. “Based on my personal participation in February’s rely and on our Needs Assessment survey, mixed with the demand for our providers, that is precisely what we anticipated.”
According to Kohler, between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, greater than 36,500 San Diegans interacted with homeless providers, which means the true variety of San Diegans dwelling with out everlasting housing might be far increased than what the rely discovered.