Multnomah County Homeless Numbers Rise by 10 Percent, but More People Are in Shelters



Multnomah County Homeless Numbers Rise by 10 Percent, but More People Are in Shelters

The number of people sleeping on the streets in Multnomah County has fallen by 12 percent in the last two years, according to data released today.

The county's point-in-time homeless count, which was last conducted two years ago, shows the number of people officially considered homeless in the county increased by 9.9 percent since 2015. But the number of people living in homeless shelters doubled.

The decline in people on the streets is good news, but it's a limited victory. People are still struggling to find a place to live as rents rise and household incomes haven't kept pace.

"Like communities up and down the West Coast with rapidly rising rents and stagnant incomes for our lowest-income residents, this year's count shows, once again, that thousands of our neighbors experience homelessness on any given night," said Marc Jolin, director of A Home for Everyone and the Joint Office of Homeless Services, in a statement.

"But the data also shows us that our local interventions matter," Jolin continues. "By investing in prevention, housing placement and shelter, we brought the overall unsheltered number down, and ensured that thousands of people who otherwise might have been unsheltered on the night of the count were instead in emergency shelter or in permanent housing."

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