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2024 Sees No Change in Pasadena’s Homeless Count, But Demographics Tell a Different Story

Chronic and veteran homelessness decrease; domestic violence and first-time homelessness on the rise

Published on Monday, June 17, 2024 | 4:00 am
 

Pasadena’s 2024 Homeless Count report is scheduled to be presented at the Council’s Economic Development and Technology Committee meeting on Tuesday. It will reveal that the city’s latest homeless population count remained unchanged from the previous year—at 556 individuals—but underwent significant shifts in demographics and subpopulations.

The count, conducted on the night of Jan. 23, involved over 200 volunteers and professional homeless service workers who canvassed the entire city. 

The count showed a 19% decrease in chronic homelessness, defined as individuals experiencing homelessness for more than twelve months while living with a disability, and a 20% reduction in veteran homelessness compared to 2023. 

For the first time in six years, chronic homelessness fell below 50% of the total homeless population.

But the count highlighted persistent racial and ethnic disparities. 

Black individuals, who make up only 8% of Pasadena’s general population, comprised 27% of the homeless population, according to the report. Similarly, Hispanic and Latino individuals now account for nearly half (46%) of the homeless population, a significant increase from their 35% representation in the general population.

The count also revealed striking differences between single adults and families experiencing homelessness. Single adults were more likely to face chronic homelessness, identify as Black, and have veteran status, while those in families were more likely to be Hispanic or Latino and experiencing homelessness for the first time. 

People in families were nearly five times as likely to have fallen into homelessness for the first time compared to single adults (52% vs. 11%).

Alarmingly, the report said, the count showed a rise in first-time homelessness, approaching pre-pandemic levels, and a doubling of homelessness due to fleeing domestic violence since 2020. 

The Department of Housing said in a memorandum that “over half (56%) of unsheltered people surveyed were last housed in Pasadena and were residents for an average of 22 years before losing their housing.”

Despite these challenges, Pasadena celebrated a record-breaking achievement in 2023, with 410 individuals placed in permanent housing, a 32% increase from the previous year. 

The vast majority (90%) were housed through Pasadena-based initiatives, such as The Salvation Army Hope Center and newly established rental assistance vouchers.

In collaboration with the Public Health Department, the Pasadena Outreach Response Team, and Huntington Hospital, two vaccine strike teams were also deployed during the Count and provided COVID-19 and flu vaccines, as well as anti-overdose naloxone kits to those in need.

The 2024 Homeless Count results contribute to understanding homelessness at regional, state, and national levels and serve as a crucial tool for the city to strategically allocate resources to address this complex issue. 

The comprehensive findings are now available to the public on the Pasadena Homeless Count website, here.

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