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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

2013 AHAR shows increase in CA’s unsheltered homeless population

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In recent years, homelessness in San Joaquin County has been on the rise. According to the 2014 Continuum of Care (CoC), Homeless Assistance Programs Homeless Populations reports that 744 residents stay at emergency shelters, 581 are accommodated in transitional housing and 263 are unsheltered.

Section 11302 of the McKinney Vento Act states that a homeless individual is:

An individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; and

an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is (a) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters and transitional housing for the mentally ill) (b) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized or (c) public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress provides a Point-in-Time estimate of the U.S. population of sheltered and unsheltered homeless. According to the AHAR, 610,042 people were homeless on a single night in January of 2013.

Although this is a decrease from the 2011 AHAR report that found 636,017 individuals homeless on a single night in January, California’s homeless population count has increased. In 2011, California reported 21 percent of the nation’s homeless population while in 2013, the number increased to 22 percent.

The AHAR shows that California holds the highest number of unsheltered homeless individuals. In 2013, there were 136,826 homeless people with 66.7 percent living unsheltered which is an increase from 2011 where 62.7 percent of California’s homeless population was unsheltered.

Looking at the population locally, the 2011 Project Homeless Connect results, where volunteers and members of the CoC surveyed 2,641 individuals over three days in San Joaquin County, showed that adult males made up 66 percent of the unsheltered population, adult females made up 23 percent and children made up 11 percent.

Of the overall respondents to the 2011 CoC survey, 51 percent identified as White, 27 percent African American and 26 percent Hispanic.

Nearly 50 percent of the respondents were between the ages of 30 and 59 years of age; only 3 percent were employed and 11 percent had completed grade 12 or above.

In Turlock, there are a number of organizations that assist the homeless including the We Care Program, Turlock Gospel Mission Shelter, Salvation Army Berberian Homeless Shelter and Transitional Living Center and the United Samaritans Foundation.

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2013 AHAR shows increase in CA’s unsheltered homeless population