Central Oregon’s annual homeless count shows 17% increase last year, to nearly 1,300

The COVID outbreak in January tested the Homeless Leadership Coalition’s investigation; ongoing effort for database by name

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The number of homeless people in central Oregon, as measured in a federally supervised annual “Point in Time” count in January, rose 17% to nearly 1,300, despite outreach team challenges posed by a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Homeless Leadership Coalition reported Friday.

Here is the full press release from the HLC, beginning with highlights from this year’s survey:

  • 2022 point-in-time tally shows 17% increase in homelessness over last year
  • 1,286 people were literally homeless in central Oregon on January 24and2024
  • 79% of the people listed were not housed
  • 65% of those surveyed have lived in central Oregon for more than 3 years
  • 60% of people surveyed have been homeless for more than 12 months
  • The total number of youth experiencing homelessness continues to rise
  • Central Oregon continues to find that people of color are homeless more often than their white counterparts*

The Point In-Time Count attempts to capture data on housed and unhoused people experiencing homelessness to provide insight into homelessness in the United States.

It is the only source of national data on sheltered and unsheltered homelessness and is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of all jurisdictions receiving federal funding to provide housing and services homeless individuals and families.

This information ultimately helps the federal government better understand the nature and extent of homelessness. Count data also helps inform local community strategic planning, capacity building, and advocacy campaigns to prevent and end homelessness.

This count provides the Homeless Leadership Coalition (CoC, OR-503) and our contributors with information about the number of people in central Oregon who are struggling to find adequate housing and shelter. In addition to the total number of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness, information is collected on a wide range of characteristics of people experiencing homelessness, including age, gender, race, ethnicity , veteran status and disability status.

Local collaborators like governments, service providers, housing providers, healthcare providers and schools will be able to better target support services and develop comprehensive plans to address poverty and poverty. homelessness in central Oregon considering these demographic trends.

Unfortunately, this year’s tally coincided with a community surge of Covid-19 which had a huge impact on our street outreach teams, particularly in the Redmond community.

Individuals and families identified through this effort include people living in:

  • Shelters or hotels/motels paid for by voucher
  • Transitional housing
  • Camping, sleeping outdoors or in cars or RVs without a full hookup
  • Other places not intended for human habitation such as a shed or storage unit

“There are many causes of homelessness in our area, and high rents and low vacancy rates only compound the difficulty of housing people who are already homeless,” said Eliza Wilson, president of the Homeless Leadership Coalition. so far this year in partnership with Housing Works and housing many others with NeighborImpact’s rapid rehousing programs, the number of homeless people continues to rise.

“We must continue to advocate for funding to build the continuum of services in our region that we know our community needs for our homeless neighbors. Nationally, homeless youth are vastly undervalued and underserved.

“Our region is working to create a regional response to youth homelessness. The challenges of providing services during the pandemic have not escaped our providers and the surge of COVID countdown week only reinforces the need to a list of names, a system for accurately counting all homeless people on any given day.

“Service providers in our region work together with a common passion and goals to reduce instances of homelessness and create a community where everyone has equal access to safe and stable housing.” Wilson added.

In December 2021, Central Oregon joined Built for zero, a national initiative of more than 90 cities and counties working to measurably and equitably end homelessness. Built for Zero communities work to measurably end homelessness for all, focusing on building systems that can continually reduce homelessness for people.

the Built for Zero Methodology was developed and refined to help communities create coordinated, data-driven systems that can make homelessness rare and brief for a population. As part of Built for Zero, communities use real-time quality data, which includes each homeless person by name and provides real-time information about their needs.

This data also provides population-level information, such as inflows and outflows, which allows communities to understand if efforts are bringing down the overall number of homeless people. Then communities target interventions based on this real-time data.

After nearly six months of working on Built for Zero, we are already developing a better awareness of the true scale of this crisis in central Oregon. HLC management hopes that by next year’s point count, we will have a complete and reliable real-time data set that can be submitted in place of the typical snapshot.

“Central Oregon has recently invested in its homelessness response system, but significant resource gaps remain. In addition to emergency housing solutions, we also need to put in place a system that prioritizes prevention and staying in housing,” said Lindsey Stailing, Vice President of the Homeless Leadership Coalition.

“We need transitional housing solutions and permanent housing, and I think we can all agree that we need to address local housing costs and build more housing,” Stailing added. “Each year, PIT numbers are eagerly awaited and then discarded due to their limitations. We will be best served by developing our real-time data to help empower our communities and design long-term solutions that address the current needs. The HLC remains committed to a future where everyone in central Oregon has a safe and stable place to call home,” Stailing said.

The HLC thanks the many service providers and their volunteers for their one-time investigative efforts and daily work to meet the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. Special thanks go to Neighbor impact for their assistance in managing Point in Time Count surveys and data tabulation and their continued leadership as we embrace the Built for Zero methodology.

About scoring points over time:

Counts have taken place in La Pine, Sunriver, Bend, Sisters, Redmond, Prineville, Madras and Warm Springs. The count was a service-based count, leveraging already existing partnerships and services for homeless people to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Polls were conducted on the night of January 24and 2022. Due to COVID-19, surveys were collected between January 24 and January 31st all asking where the individual or household slept the night of January 24.

Population 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 % CASH (2021-2022)
TOTAL (Adults + Children) 787 880 969 1098 1286 +17%
All households 572 616 586 836 961 +14.9%
Adults (18 years and over) 663 773 604 989 1063 +7.4%
Unaccompanied Youth (18-24) 83 52 48 154 104 -32%
Unaccompanied children (under 18) 15 20 6 18 19 +5.5%
All children (under 18) 124 174 54 111 223 +100.9%
Veterans 60 62 59 89 41 – 53.9%

Definitions:

Sheltered: emergency shelter, transitional housing, hotel/motel paid for with voucher

Unsheltered: place not intended for human habitation (car, exterior, abandoned building, etc.)
Household: a group of respondents who self-identify as a household (can be partners or parents and children)

*See HUD’s CoC Analysis Tool: Race and Ethnicity here

For more information or to request a presentation on the results of the point count or the Built for Zero movement, please contact the HLC at [email protected]


The Homeless Leadership Coalition (HLC)
serves as the Continuum of Care (CoC) of Central Oregon, OR-503. HLC is a collaboration of community partners from Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Coalition members include nonprofit homeless service providers, victim service providers, faith-based organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service providers, mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable housing developers, law enforcement, individuals. with lived experience of homelessness, and others who care about the issues facing our homeless neighbors. The HLC works to prevent and end homelessness by improving regional and cross-system collaboration and coordination so that our communities have a comprehensive response in place that ensures homelessness is avoided where possible, or if it cannot be avoided, it is a rare, brief and non-recurring experience.

Julio V. Miller