As reported last February, members of our Campaign Leadership Team were joined by national, state and local community leaders to count and survey homeless individuals on the streets of downtown San Diego for the 2013 WeAllCount. This event provides us with crucial data and insight into the progress we are making, helps us continue to identify the needs of our homeless population, and results in approximately $15 million in federal funding for local homeless services each year.
This month, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) released results of the 2013 WeALLCount initiative, the County’s annual homeless census (also known nationally as the Point-in-Time Count). Findings reveal the following changes from January 2012 to January 2013:
- Overall, the good news is that data shows a 7.7% decrease in all homelessness (sheltered and unsheltered) in the County of San Diego (from 9,638 individuals counted in 2012 to 8,900 in 2013)
- This includes a 13.2% decrease in unsheltered homelessness in the County of San Diego (from 5,267 unsheltered individuals counted in 2012 to 4,574 in 2013).
- In addition, this includes a 7.9% decrease for all homelessness (sheltered and unsheltered) within the City of San Diego (from 6,380 individuals counted in 2012 to 5,747 in 2013)
- Two disappointing things that the data shows include:
- A slight increase in chronically homeless unsheltered individuals in the County of San Diego (47% to 51% in 2013); and
- A slight increase of 30 more homeless individuals counted in the downtown census tracts.
According to RTFH’s Executive Director Dolores Diaz, the general decrease in numbers can be attributed in part to the heavy rain on the morning of the count, as well an improved methodology for counting cars and hand-built structures. Data analysis is still ongoing, and we will report back with more details when final results are released in May. We will provide deeper analysis on the increases in downtown when we have more precise data. In the meantime, read the RTFH press release, and RTFH’s results breakdown by city.