People Sleeping On Streets In San Diego County Increases 14 Percent
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Photo by Susan Murphy / KPBS
UPDATE: 5:37 p.m.
San Diego County's homeless count in January found that 9,116 people were living in shelters or on the streets. That's a 5 percent increase countywide as compared to the previous year.
The unsheltered homeless population increased 14 percent countywide, while in the city of San Diego the number of tents increased 104 percent.
"Many of the unsheltered individuals living on the streets said they struggle with mental illness or addiction. And this report also shows that half of the survey respondents said they were incarcerated in the last five years," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Faulconer said the increase of homeless living on the streets can't continue. He said a temporary assessment center with emergency beds will open later this year.
"You have to get people off the streets, out of the tents, into a secure environment where they can get the help and the services they need," he said.
Organizers of the annual countywide tally of the homeless in the San Diego region are scheduled to release results of the January count Thursday.
The numbers quantify the scope of the problem for local officials and are used to determine the amount of state and federal funding provided to the region.
In 2016, 8,692 homeless were counted by scores of volunteers who fanned out across the region in the early morning hours. While the total was a slight dip from the year before, the number of those actually living on the streets soared 19 percent.
How this year's figures will compare is unclear. While the number of people sleeping on sidewalks in downtown and other areas appear at times to have increased, the results could also be affected by the impact of San Diego's wet and sometimes chilly weather this winter.
San Diego County Homeless Count Results To Be Released
Susan Murphy, reporter, KPBS News
San Diego County's homeless count in January found that 9,116 people were living in shelters or on the streets. That's a five percent increase countywide as compared to the previous year.
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