Homelessness numbers up across West Valley, Santa Clara County

New numbers from Santa Clara County officials confirm what residents across the West Valley have seen with their own eyes: homelessness is getting worse across much of our region.

The recently released ‘Point-in-Time Census’ – which documents the number of homeless people living in a certain area – shows a 31% increase in Santa Clara County since 2017, to more than 9,700 individuals.

For comparison, San Mateo County saw a 21% increase in homelessness since 2017. San Francisco County’s homeless population is up 17% in the same two-year period to more than 8,000 individuals.

One challenge, highlighted in the County’s information is that “Point-in-Time Counts are ‘snapshots’ that quantify the size of the homeless population at a given point during the year. Hence, the count may not be representative of fluctuations and compositional changes in the homeless population seasonally or over time.”

Since 2017, the number of homeless accessing shelters in the county has declined, despite talk and funding aimed at increasing shelter spaces.

According to the data, more than 60% of the county’s homeless population is male, and approximately 50% of the region’s homeless are between 40 and 60 years of age. Alarmingly, 15% of Santa Clara County’s homeless are between 18 and 24 years old, up from 7% two years ago.

San Jose continues to have the largest homeless population in the county – more than 6,000 people according to this data – and has seen a 41% increase in just two years. Several other area cities saw major increases, including Mountain View and Sunnyvale, which both have more than 600 homeless.

Homeless by the numbers

Homeless numbers in West Valley cities, along with the increase or decrease since 2017:

  • Campbell: 74, down 21%
  • Cupertino: 159, up 25%
  • Los Altos: 76, up from 6
  • Los Gatos: 16, down from 52
  • Mountain View: 606, up 46%
  • Palo Alto: 313, up 13%
  • San Jose: 6,097, up 41%
  • Santa Clara: 326, up 20%
  • Saratoga: 10, down from 12
  • Sunnyvale: 624, up 147%

Santa Clara County’s count occurred January 29-30, 2019. According to the County’s information, the Santa Clara County Continuums of Care receive approximate $26 million of federal funds each year to help administer services to the homeless. The amount of federal funding to different regions across the country is in part contingent on these Point-in-Time Census counts.

To read the Point-in-Time Census for yourself, click here.

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