2017 Homeless Census

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Count Drops with Veterans and Chronic Homeless, Rises with Youth and Family Homeless

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. The federally required biennial Point-in-Time Homeless Census and Survey was conducted in Santa Clara County during the last 10-days of January, 2017. The survey provides a snapshot of homelessness in the 15 cities and unincorporated areas that comprise Santa Clara County. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development designated this year as the baseline data collection year against which progress toward ending youth homelessness will be tracked.

The survey revealed a 13 percent increase in homelessness across the county since 2015, with a point-in-time census of 7,394. While the report does show decreases in the number of homeless veterans and people with disabling conditions who have been chronically homeless for one year or more, the community saw increases in the number of families and unaccompanied youth ages 0-24.

The number of census survey workers dedicated to counting unaccompanied homeless children and transition-age youth nearly doubled from 18 in 2015 to 34 this year. These 34 workers were deployed throughout Santa Clara County.

While the overall community saw an increase driven by runaway housing costs, I’m heartened by the decrease in areas we’ve been focusing on, such as chronic and veteran homelessness,” said President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, who identified addressing homelessness a top priority in his State of the County address. “The homeless count information will assist us in strategically allocating the Measure A – Affordable Housing Bond funds. Thanks to county voters, $215M will be available this fall to build housing and to complement our current county investments that provide essential services to our homeless residents.”

While the overall numbers are up, a close look at the cities reveals differences. San José’s numbers rose by 7 percent, in part as the result of the City of San José’s pilot project to provide housing and employment services to individuals living in targeted homeless encampments.

Despite the progress we’ve made in a few key areas, we still have more than 4,000 San José residents who lack stable housing,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. ”We must continue working together as a community to build more affordable housing and to embrace innovative approaches to our region’s affordable housing crisis.”

The Point-in-Time count includes both unsheltered persons and those in emergency shelters and transitional housing. The vast majority of the homeless counted were unsheltered, living on the street, in abandoned buildings, in vehicles, or encampments.

The biennial Homeless Census and Survey uses a consistent federally-approved methodology to estimate the number of people who are homeless in Santa Clara County at a point-in-time with a goal to develop strategies to reduce homelessness. This year, 215 volunteers, service providers and County and City employees conducted the count along with dozens of currently or recently homeless paid guides. Many community and faith-based organizations also assisted with volunteer recruitment to identify census workers.

Comprehensive Reports

Please visit the Office of Supportive Housing for the complete countywide report


 Please visit the City of San Jose’s Housing Department for the complete city report