The number of people experiencing homelessness in Contra Costa County increased in 2023, according to a report released by Contra Costa Health Services.
The annual survey done by the department's health, housing and homeless services team found a 4% increase in homelessness overall, compared to 2022.
The team and its community partners, including more than 200 volunteers, canvassed across the county to count the number of people living in emergency shelters or outdoors on Jan. 25.
The 2023 point-in-time count (PIT) provides a one-day snapshot of homelessness in Contra Costa County. It impacts funding, includes important data and demographics, and helps inform CCHS how to most effectively provide services to people experiencing homelessness.
The preliminary findings showed 2,372 people were without housing during that 24-hour period, including 1,653 people who were unsheltered.
It's a 4% increase from the 2022 PIT, which counted 2,277 people experiencing homelessness.
Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors chair John Gioia said in a statement that the county is working with other counties to reform the homeless system of care in California by linking funding with accountability.
"There's no one reason why people lose their housing," Gioia said. "We are working hard on many fronts to create more housing opportunities with supportive services, including investing $12 million per year in a newly established Housing Trust Fund."
CCHS said that since 2020, bed capacity in the county increased by over 560 beds and CCHS opened the Delta Landing housing facility thanks to the state's Homekey program, which added critically needed services in East County.
"This year's PIT count shows that homelessness rates in the county are relatively stable and similar to pre-pandemic numbers," said team director Christy Saxton. "This is a testament to the services we work to provide to people who are experiencing homelessness in our communities, but there is more work to be done."
The full PIT report, expected to be completed in June, will include additional geographic and demographic data. People can go to cchealth.org/h3 for more information on homeless services and resources.
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