homeless by BayAreaNewsGroup


									                                                                   Distributed- .
                                                                        JUL I 2013
 CITY O~ f~[~


        TO: HONORABLE MAYOR                               FROM: Leslye Corsiglia
            AND CITY COUNCIL

SUBJECT: RESULTS OF 2013 HOMELESS                          DATE: July 1, 2013

Approved                                                    Date


All jurisdictions that receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) to provide housing and services for homeless persons are required to
conduct a homeless census at least every two years. On January 29 and 30, 2013, the biennial
census and survey of the homeless population in San Josd was conducted by Applied Survey
Research under contract with the City. A parallel census and survey of homeless persons
throughout the rest of Santa Clara County was performed at the same time. These censuses
provide a "point-in-time" snapshot of the homeless population on those dates.

In the weeks following the homeless census, a survey was administered to about 500 sheltered
and unsheltered homeless persons in the City. The survey used a peer-to-peer methodology and
was administered by trained survey workers who had experienced or were experiencing
homelessness. The survey provides the basis for estimating the demographics and other
characteristics of the homeless population.

The final report of the results of this effort for San Jos~ has recently been finalized, and this
informational memorandum provides highlights of the results. The full 52-page report will be
available in the beginning of July at www.s’~.


During the two-day effort, census workers found 4,770 homeless individuals in San Jos~. This
point-in-time count represents an 18% increase from the number identified in the 2011 census,
when 4,034 individuals were counted. Out of the total 4,770 persons, 1,110 (23%) were living in
shelters, transitional housing or safe havens, and 1,230 (26%) were living unsheltered in
encampments. The remaining unsheltered homeless individuals were living on the street (39%),
in cars or other vehicles (10%), or in abandoned buildings (2%).
July 1, 2013
Subject: Results of 2013 Homeless Census and Survey
Page 2

The total two-day census count for Santa Clara County was 7,361 homeless individuals, an 8%
increase over the 2011 count, when 7,067 individuals were identified as being homeless. So,
while San Jos~ experienced an increase in homelessness (+18%), the rest of the County saw its
homeless population decrease from 3,033 to 2,591 (-15%).

On a more positive note, the number of persons in San Jos~ who had experienced at least episode
ofhomelessness in the prior 12 months - derived through the most recent HUD-approved
formulas - is estimated to have been 12,055 individuals, a 5% decrease from the 2011 estimate
of 12,751 persons. For the County, the report estimates that 19,063 individuals experience
homelessness each year, representing a nearly 11% reduction from the 2011 report. These
annual estimate decreases were due to a drop in the numbers of persons experiencing
homelessness for brief periods of time and an increase in the number of persons who had
experienced multiple periods of homelessness over the course of the year.

Furthermore, it is important to point out that the significant increase in the overall homeless
point-in-time numbers in the City may be attributed to a new methodology that was employed
this year. During the count, San Jos~ made a concerted effort to identify historically hard to reach
populations by requesting that outreach professionals from partner nonprofit agencies seek out
people living in encampments and other hard to find areas. While this enhanced effort may have
been a factor in the increased numbers from 2011, we believe that the 2013 count provides a
much more accurate depiction of the scope of homelessness throughout the City. San Jos~ was
the only City to utilize these specialized teams in the County.

Of the total San Jos~ homeless population, 85% of survey respondents reported having lived in
Santa Clara County at the time they most recently became homeless, an increase from 77% from
2011. The report also revealed 71% were living in the City of San Josd at the time they lost their

Primary causes of homelessness in San Jos~ ranged from job loss (42%), alcohol/drug use
(21%), incarceration (9%), and family/domestic violence (8%). Obstacles to obtaining housing,
however, were almost solely income related. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents in 2013
reported an inability to afford rent, followed by 5% reporting a lack of job or income.

A common misperception about the homeless is that they do not want housing and prefer to live
outdoors. The 2013 survey belies this notion, as 93% of San Jos~ respondents said they would
want permanent housing if it were available (the percentage among those in encampments was
even higher, at 96%).
July l, 2013
Subject: Results of 2013 Homeless Census and Survey
Page 3

Highlights of the survey results for specific San Jos~ sub-populations are:

        Encampment Residents. As noted above, 1,230 homeless individuals were living in
        encampments at the end of January, which represents 26% of the total homeless
        population on that date. This sub-population differs from the overall homeless
        population in several ways. Encampment residents are older; the median age for
        encampment residents is in their mid-40s, while it is in the upper-30s for those not living
        in encampments. Those identifying themselves as Hispanic/Latino are 41% of the
        encampment population and they represent 30% of the overall homeless population.
        Conversely, Blacks/African-Americans comprise 23% of the overall homeless
        population and they represent 16% of encampment residents. Veterans make up almost
        identical proportions of the encampment and overall homeless populations (9% and
        10%, respectively). Males comprise 80% of encampment residents and they represent
        73% of the general homeless population. Finally, encampment residents report that they
        are much more likely to have been San Josd residents when they became homeless than
        the general homeless population (92% versus 71%).

        The Chronically Homeless. The number of chronically homeless individuals was 1,531,
        a 4% increase over the 1,474 reported in 2011. While this increase is not good news, it
        is much more modest that the 40% increase in this population recorded for the 2007-09
        period or the 10% increase reported for the 2009-11 period.

        Veterans. There were 484 homeless individuals who had previously served in the armed
        forces, or some 10% of the total homeless population. This figure represents a 26%
        increase from the 383 veterans recorded in 2011. There were 30 female and 454 male
        homeless veterans. Overall, the average of these individuals was 52 years old. Those
        who served in or prior to the Vietnam War era comprise 33% of the total homeless
        veterans. Of homeless veterans, 73% were experiencing one or more disabling
        conditions, as opposed to 60% of the overall homeless population.

        Families with Children. There were 417 homeless individuals residing in a total of 151
        family units, or about 9% of the total homeless population. This represents a 24%
        increase in this sub-population from the 336 individuals reported in 2011. Most of these
        families were sheltered, with 45 individuals (in 13 households, and including 26 children
        under the age of 18) living in unsheltered situations.

        Unaccompanied Children and Young Adults. There were 165 unaccompanied children
        under 18 and 690 young adults between ages 18 and 24 identified in the Point-in-Time
        count. Together, these two groups comprise 18% of the total homeless population. The
         165 children under 18 represent a 16% increase over the 142 reported in 2011. Whether
        the 690 young adults is an increase or decrease since 2011 cannot be determined since
        shelters for adults did not record specific ages in that year (though it is known that there
        were 436 unsheltered young adults reported in 2011).
Jtlly 1, 2013
Subject: Results of 2013 Homeless Census and Survey
Page 4

The biennial census and survey of San Josd’s homeless population continues to be a valuable
resource for tracking trends and shaping policy and program designs intended to move these
persons into permanent housing and to prevent at-risk individuals from becoming homeless.
With this in mind, however, the census is just one of the tools used for understanding
homelessness in the community. In the coming months, staff will use the data gathered to
compare with other community resources such as the Homeless Management Information
System and the Housing 1000 Registry to more fully grasp the overall scope and breadth of
homelessness. This detailed analysis of all available information will subsequently provide the
foundation to identify key target populations for service and benchmark success as staff
implements its rapid re-housing strategy over the next two years.

                                                      LESLYE CORSIGLIA
                                                      Director of Housing

For questions please contact Ray Bramson, Homelessness Response Team Manager, at

To top