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Trends to Watch in Pasadena’s Homeless Count Results

Published on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | 1:30 pm

The results of the Pasadena homeless count are expected to be released as soon as Thursday. Several trends will be worth watching.

• First and foremost, the City’s numbers have been on a decline since 2019 when volunteers counted 542 people experiencing homelessness in the City.

That number inched down to 527 in 2020. There was no count in 2021 due to the pandemic and last year, volunteers counted 512 people living on the streets.

• The number of people who lived in Pasadena prior to falling into homelessness is trending upward. Two in three (66%) people who were unsheltered on the night of the last homeless count reported living in Pasadena prior to their housing loss.

• Three in four (75%) people surveyed indicated they had not slept in any city other than Pasadena in the last week before the last homeless count.

• On average, unsheltered residents lived in Pasadena for 18 years prior to losing their home, the report said.

The Homeless Count measures the prevalence of homelessness in Pasadena on a single night within the last ten days of January, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

To collect the figures for the “unsheltered” count, community volunteers and professional outreach teams survey people sleeping outdoors, on the street, in parks and vehicles, and other areas not meant for human habitation.

The “sheltered” count, on the other hand, uses client-level data entered into the database used by homeless service providers to collect information on people who are staying in temporary shelter locations, including congregate emergency shelters, transitional housing, and hotels or motels.

• Last year’s count revealed that housing affordability and availability is the root cause of homelessness.

• In other trends, men continue to be overrepresented in the City’s unhoused population, which has been a longstanding demographic trend. The trend mirrors the gender breakdown for people experiencing homelessness nationwide.

• The percentage of people experiencing homelessness who reported fleeing from Domestic Violence (DV) increased from 13% in 2020 to 25% in 2022.

“Making homelessness rare involves implementing policies, programs, and system coordination to prevent the loss of housing and divert people from entering the homelessness services system,” a staff report from last year’s count said. “This means proactively identifying people who are at risk of losing their homes and intervening early to provide them with the necessary support. Prevention strategies include short-term rental assistance, mediation and legal services, and access to affordable housing options.

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