Results from Lane County’s January 31st 2018 Homeless Point in Time count show that there was an increase in the number of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness.
The count showed a seven percent increase from 2017. It also drew double the amount of volunteers from last year, who examined unsheltered places not meant for human habitation, such as streets, bridges and parks.
The results show that 1,642 individuals experienced homelessness in Lane County, sixty nine percent of whom went unsheltered. Alexandria Dreher is with Lane County Human Services, and she says that while numbers are increasing, the reasons for homelessness fluctuate.
“So, only 23 perce of the people who were counted in this year’s PIT count were counted in last year’s PIT count,” Dreher says, “Which tells us that it’s mostly new individuals, and that demonstrates that homelessness is a status—so people move in and out of homelessness and housing instability based on what’s going on."
One-night counts are required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as Oregon housing and Community Services. These organizations work to provide funding for homeless housing services.