In Our community and beyond

Santa Cruz County Point-in-Time Count and Survey

Biennially, counties across the country conduct comprehensive counts and surveys of their homeless population in order to gain a better understanding of the current homelessness in their community. The results from these counts and surveys are used to apply for federal funding that will be used for homeless programs. Santa Cruz County has worked in conjunction with Applied Survey Research (ASR) to conduct the Santa Cruz County Homeless Census and Survey for adults, families, and unaccompanied children every two years, since 2001. Based on the 2017 count, it is estimated that Santa Cruz County has 2,249 individuals experiencing homelessness, a 14.5% increase from the 2015 count (1,964 individuals). 

National Alliance to End Homelessness

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan leading voice on the issue of homelessness. The nonprofit analyzes policy and develops pragmatic, cost-effective policy solutions. They work collaboratively with public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity, leading to stronger programs and policies that help communities achieve their goal of ending homelessness. The Alliance also provides data and research to policymakers and elected officials, leading to more informed policy debates and a more educated the public nationwide. Through all of this, the National Alliance to End Homlessness is an outcome-driven organization with a sole focus: to end homelessness. 

Snapshot of Homelessness: The Big Picture

While circumstances can vary, the main reason people experience homelessness is because they cannot find housing they can afford. Behind this inability to acquire or maintain housing is the scarcity of affordable housing in the United States – particularly in more urban areas where homelessness is more prevalent.

By the numbers:

  • There were 549,928 individuals experiencing homelessness on a single in the United States.

  • Of that number, 194,716 were people in families, and 355,212 were individuals.

  • 22% of those experiencing homelessness were children under the age of 18.

  • 22% of the population of individuals experiencing homelessness - 77,486- are considered chronically homeless.

  • 9% of the population of adults (18+) experiencing homlessness - 39,471 - are veterans.

These numbers come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development's 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). The data for this report is acquired from Point-in-Time counts and surveys that are conducted by counties nationwide. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to submit this data every other year in order to qualify for federal homeless assistance funds. Many communities conduct these Point-in-Time counts and surveys on an annual basis.

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

The mission of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is to coordinate the federal response to homelessness. They wish to create a national partnership between all levels of government and the private sector to reduce and end homelessness in the nation. USICH aims to maximize the effectiveness of the Federal Government contributions towards ending homelessness.