SACRAMENTO—According to the city of San Francisco’s 2019 Sacramento Homelessness Point in Time (PIT) Count, homelessness increased 19 percent in the last two years.
It was reported that chronic homelessness—defined as people who have experienced homelessness repeatedly or for at least a year while struggling with a disability such as mental illness, substance abuse, or physical disabilities—has declined.
Lisa Bates, CEO of Sacramento Steps Forward, stated “An overall increase in this year’s Homelessness Point in Time Count was expected…We have greatly improved the count method and reach to capture a more accurate snapshot of homelessness in Sacramento County, which will help us better serve the community moving forward.”
Some general findings of the study found:
- 1,670 individuals are sheltered (30 percent) while 3,900 individuals remain unsheltered (70 percent).
- Majority of individuals reported indicated that they are from the Sacramento area originally (93 percent).
- The rate of individuals who experience chronic homelessness has declined by 7 percent since 2017, as well as the rate of unsheltered chronic homelessness.
- Most individuals expressed that more affordable housing would help resolve their homelessness issues seeing as housing affordability affects individuals and is a continuous challenge to overcome.
- Approximately 10,000 to 11,000 individuals experience homelessness at an annual level.
Community and organizational efforts are being made to decrease the overall challenge of unstable and unsafe housing environments for individuals and families. The Sacramento Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) has invested in assisting 3,600 individuals into housing by adding new shelter beds, rehousing programs, prioritizing 600 housing choice vouchers, and expanding mental health services and healthcare to households experiencing homelessness.
“This news is both sobering and hopeful. It’s sobering because the overall number of people experiencing homelessness went up to 19%. It’s hopeful because chronic homelessness is down, especially among the unsheltered. This change shows that our strategy of targeting the most chronically homeless with services and shelter is beginning to work, and we need to take it to scale,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
To see the full report, visit https://sacramentostepsforward.org/.