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County of Orange releases 2019 Point in Time Count results

Today the County of Orange released the results of the 2019 Point In Time count.

“The data collected during the Point in Time contains valuable information that the County and our community stakeholders will use to ensure resources are distributed to best serve those experiencing homelessness,” said Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District Supervisor.

More than 1,000 volunteers across Orange County counted 6,860 individuals experiencing homelessness. Of those, 2,899 were sheltered while 3,961 were unsheltered.

“The work conducted by the County in accordance with the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines provides a more accurate snapshot of where homeless individuals are in the county,” said Vice Chair Michelle Steel, Second District Supervisor.

The 2019 Orange County Point In Time count used a new methodology and tools to gather real-time data using a secure mobile app, as opposed to previous years when an extrapolation method was used. The 2019 Orange County Point In Time Count also included a survey for those willing to participate.

“Tackling one of the most challenging public policy issues the County of Orange has ever faced takes the efforts of not only the County, but also our city and nonprofit partners,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, First District. “These robust data sets will assist the County and its partners in better understanding and addressing the needs of those experiencing homelessness within Orange County.”

Individuals experiencing homelessness were broken into different demographic groups including sheltered and unsheltered, veterans, transitional aged youth, seniors and families. In addition, those surveyed were also able to self-report if they had substance abuse issues, serious mental health issues as well as if they had a physical disability amongst other demographic factors.

“I appreciate the work of County staff, our nonprofit partners, and the volunteers whose diligence provided us with an accurate count. This information serves as a baseline for the County as we all work together to provide help to our homeless population,” said Supervisor Donald P. Wagner, Third District.

Of note, Orange County saw a 121 percent increase in the number of emergency shelter beds from 2017 to 2019. This was an increase in 1,390 beds in total.

“The County, along with our city and nonprofit partners, have been working diligently to increase the number of emergency shelters within the System of Care and that cooperation is commendable,” said Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Fourth District.

More information about the 2019 Point in Time count may be found in the attached document. The final report on the 2019 Point in Time count will be submitted to HUD on April 30, 2019.

This article was released by the County of Orange.