1,497 adults and 416 children were homeless in Humboldt County. At least 520 of those homeless adults and at least 86 of the children were unsheltered -- they slept in cars, or outside.
And the rest? They "spent the night in a shelter, transitional housing unit, motel, clean and sober house, or with friends and family," says a news release from the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition, which has just released the homeless count numbers from the "point in time" survey conducted on the night of Jan. 27. Says Fox Olson, director of Arcata House and co-chair of the HHHC:
This is the most comprehensive homeless count we've done so far.
The news release notes that more than half of the homeless people surveyed live in the Eureka region. The agencies in the coalition can use the info to apply for grants from HUD and elsewhere.
The news release in full:
COALITION RELEASES HOMELESS COUNT NUMBERS
Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition
HHHC Co-Chair Karen "Fox" Olson (707) 822-4528
Point in Time Coordinator Stephanie Johnson (707) 822-4528
July 6, 2009
For immediate release
Count Finds Hundreds of Homeless in Humboldt
The Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition (HHHC) has released results from a homeless Point in Time count conducted in January.
The Point in Time count, which is a requirement to receive homeless assistance funding from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), found 1,497 adults and 416 children without housing in Humboldt County. HHHC volunteers surveyed people without housing at meal programs, shelters, transitional housing programs, and other places where homeless people live.
Of the 1362 adults who provided information on where they slept on the night of January 27, 2009, 520 were unsheltered and spent the night camping or sleeping in cars. The other 842 respondents are considered sheltered because they spent the night in a shelter, transitional housing unit, motel, clean and sober house, or with friends and family. Of the 406 children whose guardians identified where they slept, 86 were unsheltered and 320 were sheltered.
"This is the most comprehensive homeless count we've done so far," said Fox Olson, director of Arcata House and co-chair of the HHHC. "Even though we weren't able to count every person in Humboldt County without a home, this count gives us a better picture of homelessness throughout the county."
More than half of the homeless individuals and families identified in the survey, about 56 percent, live in and around Eureka. Other communities in which concentrations of people without housing were surveyed include Arcata (16 percent), Fortuna (11 percent), and Southern Humboldt (9 percent). Homeless people were counted in dozens of communities throughout Humboldt County, including Honeydew, Rio Dell, McKinleyville, Samoa, Hoopa, and Willow Creek.
The count was conducted by volunteers from the HHHC in partnership with more than 50 nonprofits, tribes, local government agencies, and community and family resource centers throughout Humboldt County.
"We couldn't have done a successful count without so many volunteers and partner agencies," said Stephanie Johnson, Coordinator for the 2009 Point in Time count. Johnson noted that the project received grant funding from First Five of Humboldt, the Mel and Grace McLean Foundation, and the Humboldt Area Foundation.
The information from the 2009 Point in Time count will be used by HHHC agencies to apply for grant funding from HUD and other sources. Survey results will also be incorporated into the Humboldt County Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.