Going Behind the Numbers in the San Diego Homeless Count

The new report on the number of homeless people in San Diego County may not be what it appears to be.

The annual count of homeless people is based on a count done over one day. This year it was done on January 26th.  Each year, officials with the city and housing agencies along with volunteers head out onto the streets and into neighborhoods to count homeless people.

The results of that count were released yesterday and found the number was down 6 percent from the year before, about 500 people.   The total count for 2018 was 8,576, down from 9,100 in the 2017 count.

But, and there is a big but.  This year’s annual count shows that while the total number of homeless people in the county was down 6 percent from the year before, the number of homeless people in the downtown area was up 20 percent.

And while you expect there to be more homeless people living in the downtown area, where most of the services are, you don’t want the number going up that much.

As Gordon Walker, the CEO of the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless put it this week; the results of this year’s count are not a reason to celebrate much.

Yes, it is good news that three new temporary shelters opened around the first of this year, but the homeless task force CEO says no one should get the idea that we still don’t have a major problem when it comes to reducing the number of people who are homeless in San Diego.

There will always be some homeless people. But the problem will remain a major problem until more affordable housing is found and more people get the services they need to keep them off the street so that homeless count continues to fall, even if it takes a while.

(Photo credit 10News)

Homeless San Diego  10News

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