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Central Oregon Homeless Population Rising 

880 people reported homelessness during the 2019 Count, up 12 percent

On Jan. 23, trained volunteers for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development interviewed Central Oregonians for its 2019 Point in Time Count, in which dozens of volunteers surveyed people in shelters, transitional housing, at meal sites, drop-in centers and other areas to seek data on the homeless population in Central Oregon.

Mark, who is blind and homeless, leans on his cane in front of his camp on COID property east of Redmond in 2018. - SOURCE FILE PHOTO
  • Source file photo
  • Mark, who is blind and homeless, leans on his cane in front of his camp on COID property east of Redmond in 2018.
Volunteers collected surveys over a three-day period in La Pine, Sunriver, Bend, Sisters, Redmond, Prineville, Madras and Warm Springs, according to the Homeless Leadership Coalition. According to the results, 880 people said they experienced homelessness, an increase of 12 percent over 2018. The HLC information data also showed that the unsheltered population rose 11 percent over last year to 614 people.

The HLC also counted 11 unsheltered, unaccompanied children under the age of 18, a number that has been rising since 2015, according to the HLC.

The number of unsheltered veterans rose this year, up to 49 from 36, but less than the high of 57 in 2017. On the bright side, the number of all unsheltered youth between the ages of 18 to 24 went down this year by 20 percent, as did the number of unaccompanied, unsheltered youth in the same age bracket—going down by 31 percent.

The HLC wrote in a press release the primary reason reported by homeless people was due to economic causes and effects.

Additional information from the HUD surveys about homelessness will be released in the coming weeks, according to the HLC.

To see the full report, go to the Homeless Leadership Coalition website.
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