Contra Costa County’s annual Point-In-Time count of the homeless population indicates a significant increase in both Richmond and the county.
The count is a one-day census of homeless people living in shelters and uninhabitable places throughout the county. It occurred on Jan. 23.
Richmond’s homeless count increased from 109 in 2017 to 270 this year, ruining a trend from 2015-2017 that saw a 70-percent decrease in the counted homeless population.
In North Richmond, the homeless count rose from just one in 2016 to 24 this year. In San Pablo, the homeless population count was 23 in 2015, 37 in 2016, 57 in 2017 and 46 this year.
Countywide, 2,234 homeless individuals were counted, an increase of 627 from last year. Of them, 1,537 found living in uninhabitable locations.
The county offers two main reasons for the increased numbers. For one, there’s an increase in the homeless population across the state as a result of the housing crisis that is causing a scarcity of affordable housing, according to the county.
Also, a new street outreach program was launched last year, which officials believe has worked to identify homeless individuals previously unknown to the county. The program is called Coordinated Outreach Referral, Engagement (C.O.R.E.).
For more information about the count and homeless services in the county, visit cchealth.org/homeless.