Oregon Releases the 2015 Point-in-Time Homeless Count and Analysis
The Point-in-Time count occurs every year in communities across the country. Volunteers throughout Oregon conduct a street count of people sleeping outside or in cars, and communities conduct a survey of people living in emergency shelters and transitional housing. This snapshot showed that 13,176 people in Oregon were experiencing homelessness during the Point-in-Time count, which took place in January 2015. More than half of the people surveyed (56 percent) were unsheltered, meaning they were sleeping outside or in a car, and more than one in four (28 percent) was a member of a family that was experiencing homelessness.
“Across Oregon too many people are experiencing homelessness – they are sleeping in shelters, their cars, or outside with no shelter,” Governor Brown said. “Recently, the Oregon Department of Education reported that during the last school year, Oregon had more than 20,000 K-12 students experiencing homelessness. We can do better. Children deserve an opportunity to succeed in school and life, which is also tied to safe, stable, and affordable housing. Together with the Legislature, we committed more than $60 million this session to build affordable housing across Oregon – in both rural and urban communities – in the coming years.”
According to social service providers, this snapshot doesn’t tell the full story. School liaisons for homeless students who work with homeless kids report a dramatic rise in caseloads at the beginning of the year. Other agencies report record calls for rent assistance and eviction prevention assistance. Across the state, renters are experiencing extremely low vacancy rates.
* One-third (33 percent) of the people counted in homeless families were from Clatsop, Douglas, Josephine, and Yamhill counties.
* One in five (19 percent) people experiencing homelessness were under 18 years old. One in four (27 percent) people experiencing homelessness were under 24.
* One in 10 people counted were veterans.
* Communities of color are also over-represented among homeless populations. While African Americans make up just 1.8 percent of the population in Oregon, they make up 6 percent of the total homeless population.
“This year, we see that the number of people experiencing homelessness has remained steady from our last count,” said Margaret Van Vliet, Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services. “However, this count shows increasing numbers of homeless families in rural areas.”
The full report on the January 2015 Point-in-Time count is available online at: