Santa Cruz County’s biannual Point-In-Time Count shows an estimated 2,299 homeless people in the county, up 6% from the last count in 2019.
- 1,774 people unsheltered with the rest in shelters.
- 1,073 people report substance use disorders
- 818 people report serious mental illness
- 59% decrease in homelessness among families
- 94% decrease in unsheltered homelessness among families
- The number of veterans experiencing homelessness more than doubled
“The 2022 PIT Count shows significant progress in addressing homelessness among families and youth,” said Robert Ratner, director of the County of Santa Cruz Housing for Health Division, who will present a high-level summary of the report to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors during its regularly scheduled meeting. Tuesday morning.
“However, there have been significant increases in homelessness among seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities>” Ratner added. “The lack of affordable housing remains the biggest barrier to preventing and ending homelessness in the community. We have more work to do to meet the objectives set forth in our Housing for a Healthy Santa Cruz shared framework to ensure all residents have stable, safe, and healthy places to live.”
Inadequate housing supply and high rental rates are significant contributors to homelessness.
Another factor is that federal disability payments, currently $841 per month, do not cover rental costs.
Current data show only 65% of homeless individuals with subsidized housing vouchers have been able to find a home, and Santa Cruz County remains behind on capacity targets for housing in key areas, including very low-income affordable housing.
A recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition ranks Santa Cruz County as the second most expensive rental market in the country and the least affordable for local renters.
Through Project Homekey and other efforts, the County and local cities are pursuing ways to increase housing affordability.
- San Francisco (down 3.5%)
- Santa Clara County (up 3%)
- Alameda County (up 22%),
- Contra Costa County (up 35%)
- Monterey County (down 15.5%)
- San Benito County (up 21%)
The Point in Time Count methodology excludes people experiencing homelessness staying in institutional settings, those in temporary situations, and those living in unsafe or overcrowded spaces.
Once available, the full Point-in-Time Count report will be posted on the Housing for Health Partnership website, at https://housingforhealthpartnership.org/
The Housing for Health Partnership is a collaboration of the County and each city within Santa Cruz County, along with local homelessness service providers. The County of Santa Cruz is the lead agency for the Partnership.