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News Release
Lane County Human Services Publishes Results from 2024 Homeless Point In Time Count - 06/06/24

Every year on the last Wednesday of January, the Lane County Human Services Division, in partnership with numerous agencies and groups, conducts the annual one-night Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count is a three part survey which includes a count of the unsheltered and sheltered population of people experiencing homelessness, as well as a Housing Inventory Count (HIC). The 2024 PIT Count was conducted for the night of January 31, 2024.

The Point-In-Time Count provides a useful tool for understanding homelessness and year-over-year trends in our community. One-night counts are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Oregon Housing and Community Services (State of Oregon) which provides funding for housing and services related to homelessness. The Point-in-Time Summary is used year-round by planning boards, nonprofits, community organizations, and policy makers on local, state, and federal levels to inform their work on this issue.

Lane County has an additional data system, the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which features a list of individuals by name who have accessed services for homelessness. This information is dynamic, and allows for tracking of movement in and out of the condition of homelessness, and use of shelter and other services. The data from this list is used in conjunction with PIT data to paint a more detailed picture of individuals experiencing homelessness in our community, which helps drives local programming decisions and analysis.

Information about the Count:

This year’s unsheltered count was primarily conducted by generating a report from Lane County’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). A modified version of the Homelessness By-Name List was used, which includes homeless individuals in any HMIS-participating program. Programs include street outreach, day access centers, food pantries, and other services for people experiencing homelessness. This is the fourth year Lane County has been approved by HUD to use this method.

To supplement this count, trained outreach workers collected surveys in areas where it was most likely that people who are unsheltered were not engaged in other services so would not be counted through HMIS.

Consistent with prior years and HUD recommendations, the sheltered count was conducted using HMIS data. A small number of providers who do not participate in HMIS, like domestic violence service providers, sent their own sheltered counts to be included in the county-wide Point-in-Time Count.

Highlights of the Count:

· The night of January 31, 2024, more people were sheltered and slightly fewer were unsheltered than during the 2023 count. This change is indicative of the strong and focused work happening across the community to prevent households from becoming homeless, developing additional low-barrier emergency shelter beds and creating more long-term housing options with supports for people who are unhoused. There is considerable work to do to sustain and increase these impacts, including increasing homelessness prevention and housing opportunities. And this year’s investments in supports, shelter and housing programs were well worthwhile and assisted in moving the needle. These investments need to continue to be scaled for greater impact.

Of the 3,085 people counted during one night:

· 920 individuals were staying in Emergency Shelter.

o The number of Emergency Shelter beds increased by almost one-third from 2023, adding 265 for a total of 1,088 year-round beds. Utilization of those beds on the night of the PIT also increased, from 78% in 2023 to 85% in 2024.

o The increase in Emergency Shelter spaces is primarily due to the Governor’s Executive Order ALL IN funding, which improved and created over 300 new emergency shelter beds in the region.

· 69 individuals were living in Transitional Housing, which is a program that offers temporary housing (up to 24 months) with supportive services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness with the goal of interim stability and support to successfully move to and maintain permanent housing.

· 2,096 individuals were without shelter

o 223 of these individuals were staying in alternative shelter programs like Rest Stops, Microsites, and sanctioned vehicle camping. While these provide much-needed safe places to sleep, they do not meet the HUD definition of emergency shelter.

Characteristics:

· 425 homeless individuals (14%) were in households with children (138 households); 130 of those were sheltered (44 households) and 295 individuals were unsheltered (94 households)

· 25 homeless children were unaccompanied by adults; an additional 198 homeless youth age 18-24 were unaccompanied

· 151 of homeless individuals (5%) were veterans; 56 were sheltered and 95 were unsheltered

· 1,500 individuals (49% of all individuals counted) were chronically homeless (chronically homeless refers to individuals who have experienced homelessness for at least a year, or repeatedly, while struggling with a disabling condition such as a serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability)

· 1,268 adults (45%) self-reported a mental health condition; 808 adults (29%) self-reported substance use disorder

· 563 homeless individuals (18%) were age 55-64 (239 sheltered and 324 unsheltered); 301 individuals (10%) were age 65 and older (130 sheltered and 171 unsheltered)

Trends:

· The percentage of homeless individuals who had experienced domestic violence increased this year, from 21% of adults counted in 2023 to 24% of adults counted in 2024

· The percentage of chronically homeless individuals who were sheltered increased significantly from 2020 to 2024, from 25% to 36%

· The percentage of homeless individuals who were veterans decreased, from 7% of all homeless individuals in 2023 to 5% in 2024.

· Of the individuals counted through HMIS for this year’s count, 35% were also in last year’s HMIS count.

· Nearly half (1,486) of the individuals included in this year’s PIT count are presumed newly homeless and have not appeared in any of the previous 5 counts (2019-2023).

The Homelessness By-Name List

Each month, Lane County uses HMIS data to publish an estimate of the number of people experiencing homelessness in the county at some point during the month. This is published on the Homelessness in Lane County, OR Tableau page. The criteria for this report is more expansive than what is used for the HUD PIT Count, because it looks at all services and data collected during the month rather than on one night. This year, 4,295 people were on the By-Name list during the month of January. This is significantly higher than the 3,085 individuals included in the count for the night of January 31, 2024.

Housing Inventory Count

Lane County also submitted the number of shelter and permanent housing beds used on the night of January 31, 2024. 939 of 1088 Emergency Shelter beds were utilized (86%), 70 of 117 Transitional Housing beds (60%), and an additional 1,677 individuals were not homeless the night of the PIT Count because they were residing in permanent housing. The 196 available beds in Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing is much smaller than the 2,096 individuals who were unsheltered the night of the count. Additionally, some of these unoccupied beds have eligibility requirements that unsheltered individuals may have been unable to meet.

Oregon Governor’s State of Emergency Due to Homelessness (All In)

Due to the increase of unsheltered homelessness in the Point in Time Count from 2017 to 2022, Lane County was included in the governor’s state of emergency due to homelessness. As a result, more than $15 million of state funding have been allocated to local agencies targeting homelessness. There is more information about All In on the county’s All In page at http://www.lanecountyor.gov/allin, and more information about the Human Services Division’s work at http://www.lanecountyor.gov/HSD.

View more news releases from Lane Co. Government.