Almost to the day Contra Costa Supervisors admitted they were “swimming upstream” with “absolutely no system” to effectively address the issue of homelessness, County Health released findings showing a four percent rise in the number of people homeless in the county in 2023 compared to 2020.
The report, released by Contra Costa Health’s Health, Housing and Homeless Services team (H3), contained data gathered by H3 and its community partners – including more than 200 volunteers – who spread out across the county to count the number of people living in emergency shelters or outdoors on Jan. 25 of this year.
Their findings were released this week.
The so-called “Point in Time” count provides a one-day snapshot of homelessness in Contra Costa. It impacts funding, includes important data and demographics, and helps inform Contra Costa Health (CCH) on ways to most effectively provide services to people experiencing homelessness.
A discussion of the issue by the Board of Supervisors early Wednesday revealed some frustration with their inability to come up with an effective, accountable program to combat the problem.
Preliminary findings show that 2,372 people were without housing during that 24-hour period, including 1,653 people who were unsheltered. Those numbers reflect a 4 percent increase from the 2020 PIT, which counted 2,277 people experiencing homelessness.
“There’s no one reason why people lose their housing,” said John Gioia, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors. “We are working hard on many fronts to create more housing opportunities with supportive services, including investing $12 million per year in a newly established Housing Trust Fund. Contra Costa County is also working with other counties statewide to reform the homeless system of care in California to link funding with accountability for outcomes.”
Since 2020, bed capacity in the county increased by over 560 beds and CCH opened Delta Landing thanks to the state’s Homekey program, which added critically needed services in East County.
“This year’s PIT count shows that homelessness rates in the county are relatively stable and similar to pre-pandemic numbers,” said H3 director Christy Saxton. “This is a testament to the services we work to provide to people who are experiencing homelessness in our communities, but there is more work to be done.”
The full PIT report, expected to be completed in June, will include additional geographic and demographic data. Visit cchealth.org/h3 for more information on homeless services and resources.
It seems, from the dearth of comments, that we are all “frustrated” and exhausted.
Out, out of our heads!
Yes. Visitation is skyrocketing, but folks are keeping their thoughts to themselves. We attributed it to a communal malaise/fatigue. Perfectly understandable.