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San Diego’s Homeless Population Third In Nation


Aired 12/12/12

San Diego had the third largest homeless population of any American metropolitan area in 2012, surpassed only by New York City and Los Angeles.

— San Diego had the third largest homeless population of any American metropolitan area in 2012, surpassed only by New York City and Los Angeles. That’s the conclusion of a new report on homelessness by HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Ana Tintocalis/KPBS News

People lay on beds in the winter shelter in downtown San Diego.

San Diego County’s 10,013 homeless people were more than that found in many larger metro areas, including Seattle, Chicago and Houston. San Diego was also listed in the top five, among major cities, for its increase in the number of homeless people, compared with the previous year. Los Angeles, by comparison, had the nation’s largest decrease in homeless population.

The HUD study was based on annual counts of homeless populations and a “point-in-time” calculation: One day in January in which homeless shelter staff fanned out across metro areas and counted people in shelters and people on the street.

On that day in January, HUD reports there were 633,782 homeless people in the United States. One in five homeless Americans lived in California, giving it by far the nation’s largest homeless population.

The HUD report said people who are “chronically” homeless make up about 25 percent of San Diego’s homeless population. That figure is comparable to what’s found in many other metro areas.

The HUD report did give some reason for hope. Homelessness has decreased by nearly 6 percent over the past five years throughout the U.S.


Avatar for user 'Really123'

Really123 | December 12, 2012 at 10:23 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Has anyone walked down C St. along the trolley lately? There is definately a criminal element mixed in with the chronically homeless there. Funny, I don't know many white San Diegans that are toothless and have a thick southern drawl. They're not from our city.

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Avatar for user 'ICare'

ICare | December 12, 2012 at 11:53 a.m. ― 2 years ago

I imagine this is why Supervisor Ron Robert's is building a $100,000,000 park around the county building at the waterfront. "Services" for the homeless.

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Avatar for user 'SDresmt'

SDresmt | December 13, 2012 at 11:32 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Well, the weather conditions are ideal for those without shelter.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 13, 2012 at 1:53 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Honolulu could be better.

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Avatar for user 'TheHomelessGuy'

TheHomelessGuy | September 2, 2013 at 8 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Does anyone see what's wrong with this article? It uses metro and county homeless counts interchangeably. You can't really compare San Diego's county population to other city's Metro count. It's a case of apples and oranges. The reality is, San Diego's homeless population is on par with the rest of the country. Approximately 1 out of every 350 residents in a county will be homeless.

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