2011 One Night Homeless Count results now available
The Homeless Leadership Coalition has released the data collected from the annual homeless count, conducted Thursday, January 27, 2011. On this day, 2,271 individuals self-identified as persons experiencing homelessness within the tri-county region. Children under the age of 18 were identified in more than half of the households experiencing homelessness surveyed. After Friday, April 1, 2011, data from the surveys can be found at the Homeless Leadership Coalition website: www.cohomeless.org.
The homeless count provides a snapshot of Central Oregon’s homeless population in a 24-hour time frame. While it is not a comprehensive count, it provides valuable information to those serving the homeless, helps to educate the public about the issues of homelessness in our region, and helps direct public policy planning and development. Oregon Revised Statute 458.528 designates Oregon’s Housing and Community Services (OHCS) as an administering agency for homelessness policies. OHCS provides the Homeless Leadership Coalition with the count instructions and surveys.
Only 11 percent of the persons experiencing homelessness had emergency shelter, a voucher providing a night’s campground or hotel stay, or transitional housing, on Thursday, January 27, 2011. These community resources, along with many others, were at full capacity during this year’s count. A majority of persons experiencing homelessness, however, identified that they would be staying with friends and family the evening of this year’s count. The two most common reasons for homelessness, identified by households surveyed, were inability to afford rent and unemployment. One out of five households experiencing homelessness identified that they were camping, living in a car, or on the street.
Nearly half of the persons experiencing homelessness were children under the age of 18, a significant increase from years prior. Fortunately, more persons experiencing homelessness identified that their children under the age of 18 were attending school. “This year’s count reinforces what our social service partners see every day in our region,” according to Julie N. Lyche, Director of the Family Access Network. “Families, children and individuals are struggling each day just to make ends meet. Many of the persons experiencing homelessness are hidden. It is those children living in a car or tent while their parents work to get them to school each day.” For Julie N. Lyche, “The homeless count allows our communities to focus on our most vulnerable populations so we can work together to find solutions for our local families.”
Consistent with previous counts, almost one in five persons experiencing homelessness identified that they were disabled and 6 percent identified as senior citizens. A majority of disabled persons experiencing homelessness identified that they suffered from a psychiatric disability. One out of six senior citizens identified over the age of 70.
With more veterans returning to the region from Iraq and Afghanistan, more veterans self-identified as persons experiencing homelessness this year. “Not only are the numbers up, the range of issues confronting veterans and the complexity of those issues is increasing,” said Chuck Hemingway, Executive Director of Central Oregon Veterans Outreach.
Click here for the official press release in Adobe PDF format
Click here to view a video about the One Night Homeless Count
Click here for the 2010 Homeless Count Data
Click here for the 2009 Homeless Count Data