The Lane County Human Services Commission has released its annual “Homeless Point in Time” Count. It’s based on a one-night survey of people lacking permanent residences or shelter. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports the count took place earlier this year.
On January 25th, county workers and volunteers checked under bridges, on streets and in alleys, as well as emergency shelters and food pantries, to gauge the scale of homelessness. The count came to 1,529 people.
Pearl Wolfe is Human Services Supervisor for Lane County. She says that represents a five percent increase from last year.
“We can say it’s a five percent increase, but it’s 78 more human beings in our community who were homeless that evening,” she tells KLCC.
Wolfe adds there is progress being made.
“There were 741 people who were chronically homeless and had disabilities, who weren’t homeless this year. They were in permanent housing programs.
"Those are people that you’re not seeing on the streets. Who are maybe mentally ill, or have a substance abuse problem, or have a chronic illness. And they’re safe.”
Wolfe hopes the city and state continue to support programs for the local homeless population.
The full Homeless Point in Time Count can be found at the Lane County Human Services website.
Copyright 2017, KLCC.