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City Preparing for Homeless Count

Survey will begin early next week

Published on Friday, January 17, 2020 | 6:24 am
Archival image shows counters surveying a homeless man near Pasadena City Hall. Photo: Fuller Seminary Office for Urban Initiatives

The city’s homeless count will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 21-22.

The count is a snapshot of those living in temporary shelters and unsheltered locations in Pasadena.

The 2019 count recorded 542 people experiencing homelessness in Pasadena, down from 677 in 2018. Only 2016 had a lower count, when 530 homeless people were counted.

“We’ll go out in the morning, but we’ll also be counting at certain specific locations throughout the day. We also conduct a supplementary youth count,” said Jennifer O’Reilly Jones, Pasadena’s homeless programs coordinator.

The count takes place in specific locations where there are services for people experiencing homelessness. The results will be available in April or May according to Jones.

The City has received in $4.2 million in funds to aid in the fight against homelessness since the last count was taken.

“It takes a significant amount of time to analyze the data and write the report,” Jones said. “Our data is incorporated into the greater Los Angeles homeless count, which covers L.A. County. And so we coordinate with our partners in neighboring regions.”

The count in Pasadena has shown a decrease in the local homeless population in almost every year since 2011.

Last year’s count revealed veterans comprise only 6 percent of the homeless population in Pasadena.

The number of families with children on the street, which has been declining since 2017, continued to fall. Some 14 percent fell into this count category.

The 6 percent that are unaccompanied youths, between the ages of 18 to 24, is also characterized in the summary as a “positive low.”

Though the raw number of homeless in Pasadena is down, the number of those suffering chronic homelessness increased and accounts for approximately 50 percent of the total population counted.

Chronic homelessness is characterized by people with a disabling condition that have been homeless for more than a year.

While the homeless population decreased in Pasadena in 2019, it skyrocketed in LA County. About 59,000 people are living on the streets of Los Angeles County. About 16,000 of those people are living in their cars.

“I certainly do not expect a dramatic decrease like we saw last year, because our numbers last year were already down,” Jones said. “We may see another slight decrease because that’s what we’ve been seeing for almost 10 years. That being said, in the areas that surround us and in Los Angeles, the numbers are going up and that may impact us, It’s hard to predict.”






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