After Point-in-Time count release, Placer County eyes continued progress
Published June 30, 2022
The estimated number of unhoused community members in Placer County remains relatively steady compared to 2020, according to results of the 2022 Point-in-Time homeless census released today by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras.
Placer County will use data from the count to inform its ongoing efforts to address homelessness, including a regional planning effort that is now entering its second phase.
Results showed that the overall estimate of homeless individuals increased by less than 1% from 2020 to 2022, from 744 to 750, although the rate of homelessness per 10,000 people declined slightly during that time period.
This year, 408 unsheltered and 342 sheltered individuals were counted. Required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Point-in-Time count estimates the number of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night, typically in January each year. Homelessness service providers, law enforcement and community volunteers work together to conduct the count.
While a count was also conducted in 2021, the pandemic-influenced methodology for that year makes comparisons to other years more tenuous.
“That we haven’t seen the dramatic increase in homelessness that other communities have in the past few years shows the value of the collective investments we’ve made in preventing and addressing it,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chair and District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “We have a lot of work ahead of us but by maintaining the lowest rate of homelessness in Northern California we’ve built a strong foundation for continued progress toward the quality of life we’ve come to expect in our community.”
There have been several notable accomplishments recently that reflect the county’s commitment to addressing the challenge of homelessness:
- County and city efforts to prevent pandemic-related evictions through rent and utility payment supports have earned statewide recognition.
- Data show that the homeless population at the Placer County Government Center has declined from a high point of 107 to approximately 23 over the last three months. The county has piloted a daytime service center to address needs of this population, along with continued outreach by the Homeless Liaison Team to engage in services.
- The county continues to expand its portfolio of permanent housing, with the recent Homekey 2.0 grant representing what will be the largest single expansion (82 units) in Placer’s homeless housing continuum to date while being responsive to public concerns.
- Health and Human Services, along with community partners, has continued to provide innovative supportive services to residents experiencing homelessness, including coordination of housing and health-related services for people with complex needs, and housing hundreds of clients.
“We’ve been doubling down on efforts to encourage folks to use the array of available services,” said Health and Human Services Director Dr. Rob Oldham.
Wraparound-style programs are centered on individual client needs ranging from physical and mental health to job readiness.
All told, county investments to address homelessness – ranging from prevention services; to case management programs; to operating costs for emergency shelter, interim and permanent housing – totaled approximately $20 million in the last fiscal year.
The regional planning effort, which has just entered its second phase, aims to help local jurisdictions across the county identify and coordinate shared approaches to homelessness alongside community-based organizations, the local business and faith communities, service providers, county departments and others. The process will continue through 2023.