The number of unhoused people counted across Santa Clara County dropped slightly compared to last year, according to preliminary results of the 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless census.
The data, released May 30 by the County of Santa Clara and the City of San Jose, shows the overall number of homeless individuals counted this year decreased by 1.2% in Santa Clara County and dropped by 4.7% in the city limits of San Jose.
“The PIT count is just a snapshot of one night so it is imprecise, but we can use the data, collected over time, as one of many tools to help us better understand the state of homelessness in Santa Clara County,” said Consuelo Hernandez, director of the County’s Office of Supportive Housing.
“Looking at this year’s count and previous years’ numbers, this signals to us that the crisis has not gotten worse despite the national and local economic fallout. However, the needs in the community continue to grow and we must continue to focus our efforts in expanding the overall capacity of the supportive housing system.”
This year’s preliminary PIT data show there was a 4% decrease in the number of unsheltered individuals. The numbers also show a 7.8% increase in sheltered individuals as jurisdictions across the community have expanded interim housing and temporary shelter options over the past few years.
Overall, the number of unhoused individuals in the county dropped from 10,028 in 2022 to 9,903 in 2023, according to the county.
‘The needs of the community continue to grow’—Consuelo Hernandez, director of the Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing
“This year’s count shows that our investments in permanent housing, interim housing and prevention are beginning to gain traction and the homelessness crisis appears to be stabilizing,” said Jacky Morales-Ferrand, director of the City of San Jose’s Housing Department. “While it is reassuring to see tangible evidence that our investments are moving us in the right direction, the count is also a reminder that thousands of people are still suffering on our streets. We must continue pushing as hard as we can to get all our neighbors into safe, dignified housing, and prevent more people from falling into homelessness.”
The 2023 PIT Count also provided insight into trends among sub-populations, including:
• Veterans: Across Santa Clara County, there was a 27.3% drop in the number of veterans who were homeless.
• Families: There was a 36.5% increase in the number of homeless families counted across the county, more than 80% of whom were sheltered.
The County, City of San José and other partners continue working to create affordable housing, provide services to help residents stay successfully housed, and offer resources that prevent people from falling into homelessness in the first place, according to a press release. Those efforts include:
• Since 2020, the supportive housing system has helped 9,645 people move from homelessness to stable housing and has prevented homelessness for thousands of households.
• In the six years since voters approved the Measure A Affordable Housing Bond in 2016, 4,481 new apartments and 689 renovated units are completed or underway.
• Since the previous count in 2022, temporary and interim shelter capacity has expanded by 15%. Many of these new beds are supported by the County and City of San José, and new partnerships were made possible by the County Challenge Grant and Project Homekey to develop new interim housing programs across the county.
• Since 2020, the Homelessness Prevention System helped more than 24,000 people remain stably housed while receiving services and only 3% of these households became homeless after receiving assistance. There has been a 27% drop in the number of people who become homeless for the first time in a given year.
“Thanks to our coordinated investments in temporary shelter, affordable housing, homelessness prevention and basic needs services, we are starting to stem the tide of homelessness in our community,” said Jennifer Loving, Chief Executive Officer of Destination: Home.
“But we cannot take our foot off the pedal. We will only be able to end homelessness in Santa Clara County if we continue scaling proven housing strategies.”
The Point-in-Time Count is a census of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night.
It provides data used for federal funding allocations and national estimates of homelessness.
The data released May 30 is considered preliminary; data for other cities within Santa Clara County and the full report are currently being analyzed and is expected to be released later this year.