San Luis Obispo County

Report: Homelessness in SLO County on the decline

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - A new report indicates that homelessness is on the decline in San Luis Obispo County.

The 2017 Homeless Census Survey and Report was released on Friday by the county.

The report shows that the number of homeless individuals in the county has decreased by 26 percent and the number of homeless veterans has decreased by 38 percent since 2015.

The census conducted in January 2017 found 1,125 homeless persons in SLO County, compared to 1,515 people counted on a single day in January 2015. A total of 81 homeless veterans were
counted by in January 2017, compared to 130 in 2015. 

County Homeless Services Coordinator Laurel Weir credits an increase in housing resources for the decline in the number of homeless individuals and veterans.

“Over the past two years alone, over 154 homeless veterans have been housed in the county, and over 200 have been housed since 2013, according to data provided by the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo and local Supportive Services for Veteran Families grantees,” Weir said in a press release.

The County conducts a census of its homeless population every two years, as part of its 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. This year’s count was conducted in a single, 12-hour period on the night of January 29 and in the morning of January 30.

County officials noted that there was heavy rain at the time of the census, which may have driven some of the county's homeless to seek shelter with friends or family or into hotels. Weir says weather may have had a slight impact on the total count, but the county was confident in their overall estimation.

Although the numbers are encouraging, county officials still point to a continued lack of housing as a major obstacle for the local homeless population. 

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