PORTLAND, Ore.—-Just over 4,000 individuals have been impacted by homelessness in 2019 . Two years ago the number was almost 4,200. Among women the count fell by 10 Percent. Numbers of families with kids cut in half. those Unsheltered climbed though to just over 2,000 up from some 1600 two years before .
“These numbers confirm what we’re seeing every day. Too many of our neighbors with disabilities are having to live on our streets,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “Disability checks and other fixed incomes just can’t cover rising rents, and this is exactly why we are prioritizing not just affordable housing, but the type of affordable housing that comes with a case-worker for people to stay housed. We know it works and we need to do a lot more of it.”
One steady factor from years past to the 2019 count, noted the release, was found in statistics noting racial disparities.People of color now make up 38.1% of the count, even though they are only 29.5% of Multnomah County’s population.
On the flip side, the release said the spike could also, in part, be contributed to this year’s street count, led by led by Portland State University’s Regional Research Institute, was “the most extensive yet” with a record amount of professional outreach workers & volunteers.Staff noted, this year, they worked with culturally specific groups, like the Urban League and NAYA, to help them better count communities of color and native Americans.
The PIT Count is a semiannual process mandated in communities across the country by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
It typically takes months to tally up the numbers & present them to the public.