Homelessness Soars in the Bay Area

Maybe it’s time for a different approach. A little over a month after the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released a groundbreaking report ranking the Bay Area’s homelessness among the worst in the nation, new data shows the problem much, much worse. The preliminary results of so-called “point-in-time” (PIT) counts found a 30 percent jump in homeless numbers in the region’s three largest counties, including San Francisco, Alameda and Santa Clara. The homeless numbers in Alameda County rose by an astounding 43 percent since the last official count in 2017. Those figures translate into a total of 25,739 homeless in those three counties alone, suggesting that the region’s overall homeless population is much higher.

Bay Area Homelessness: A Regional View of a Regional Crisis>>

The troubling new data also likely increases the percentage of homeless people without shelter, which the Economic Institute report put at 67 percent based on a much lower population—again, among the highest levels in the country. The Economic Institute report highlighted the gross inefficiencies and almost complete lack of coordination and cooperation among the myriad local government, nonprofit and other organizations that provide homeless programs and services. The report also outlined a series of recommendations calling for a stronger, better-coordinated regional response to the homelessness problem. To learn more about the Council’s homelessness policy work, please contact Vice President Adrian Covert.

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