Report: 13 more homeless people found housing last year for every 10

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According to a new report, the number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time outnumbers the number of homeless people finding housing each month in San Diego County.

The regional task force on homelessness said in its first monthly report on Tuesday that for every 10 homeless people who found housing in the past 12 months, another 13 became homeless for the first time.

The analysis showed that between October 2021 and September 2022, 15,327 people across the county reported being homeless for the first time, while 11,861 homeless people found some kind of housing.

The latest figures for September show that 1,368 people became homeless, the fourth highest figure in the last 12 months, and 789 people found accommodation, the third lowest figure for the past year.

While the annual homeless count last February found about 8,400 people in San Diego County, the report theoretically shows there would be enough housing to get everyone off the streets and out of shelters if no one else became homeless in the past year .

“One of the things I think this shows is that we know what to do, but we haven’t been able to do it at the scale and scale that we need,” Regional Homelessness Task Force CEO Tamera Kohler said. “And even if we were able to do it at this volume and scale, the numbers are overwhelming the system.

“There are successes every day,” she said. “We just have a lot more people coming in than going out.”

The report notes that the number of people who became homeless and found housing fluctuated from month to month, sometimes significantly.

In October 2021, only 609 people were housed, the lowest number in 12 months, while 1,429 people found housing in April. The number of people who became homeless for the first time reached a low of 1,095 in July and a high of 1,650 man in may.

December and March were the only months when the number of people who found housing was greater than the number of new people who became homeless.

Tamera Kohler, chief executive officer of the Regional Task Force on Homelessness, said it’s unclear why the numbers are fluctuating, but more analysis will be done in the future.

“We don’t know what to look at until we dig into the data,” she said. “I want to know what happened during these months. Why is it that in some months we have quite a lot of housing and in some months not? What’s going on there?”

On the surface, the data for the first time show a clear picture of what cities and homeless service providers are facing. For whatever reason — addiction, job loss, health problems, household problems — more than 1,000 people in the county became homeless each month.

With nearly 12,000 people placed over the course of a year, the data also suggests things could be worse.

“I get asked all the time, ‘How many people did you house last month and how many people became homeless?'” Kohler said. “Providing a number by month would at least level the narrative in a way that I think is helpful. Then I think some people’s opinion that nothing works can be put to rest a little bit.”

While the number of people who have found housing is encouraging, Kohler noted that many of those people do bounce back, with up to 25 percent of those who find housing returning to homelessness within two years.

On an encouraging note, the report found that finding housing for someone does not require the creation of a new housing unit or additional housing vouchers.

“Most need a little help or a little help navigating where they can go back to work, find housing they can afford, or find a family member they can move in with,” Kohler said. “The success of the system is not just about ‘we need more permanent housing’ or housing vouchers.”

Of the 789 people who found housing in September, only 174 people, or about 22 percent, moved into permanent housing. The majority, 558 people, found housing on their own. Others moved in with a family member or found another type of permanent home on their own.

The report also shows that the number of people experiencing homelessness across the county in one year exceeds the annual count in one night. This year’s count found 8,427 homeless people in San Diego County in February, a 10 percent increase from the previous count in January 2020.

The number of people who received some kind of homelessness service in the last 12 months was 41,345, about five times the number at that time. However, not all of these people live on the streets or in shelters. According to the report, about 31 percent were in permanent housing and 3 percent were receiving assistance to prevent homelessness.

The report will also show demographic data about who was posted each month. The September count shows the 789 people who found housing included 87 families, 127 veterans, 178 seniors age 55 and older and 75 transitioning youth ages 18 to 24.

There were 26,560 active clients in homeless service programs in September, a 4 percent increase from August. 2,341 families, 3,939 veterans, 8,107 seniors, and 1,934 transitioning youth were served.

The data is collected from the Homeless Management Information System, a database that tracks homeless services and needs at the local and national level.

Source by [author_name]

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