Santa Cruz County releases 2013 Homelessness Survey

October 23, 2013

After some strange delays reported by Jason Hoppin of the Santa Cruz Sentinel in which no one seemed to know who or what was to blame, the 2013 Santa Cruz County Homeless Survey has finally been released.

As Hoppin reported last week:

Researchers at Watsonville’s Applied Survey Research confirmed their work is done, and the Sentinel formally requested a copy of the report last week. A massive undertaking, the surveys tally the number of people living on the streets throughout the county — more than 2,700 during the 2011 count — and usually have been released with fanfare during the summer.

While it’s unclear why the 2013 study was slow to come, there has been added scrutiny on the homeless issue as the county has been slow to join a Bay Area-wide economic rebound. Debates about public safety and a local needle-exchange program also have placed new spotlights on the population.

The report was finally released today at a press conference and it’s certain to generate a lot of talk in the community. Among the findings:

  • The county’s homeless population is 3,536; 82 percent of which was reported to be unsheltered. This marked an increase from 2,771 counted in the 2011 survey.
  • The city of Santa Cruz had the highest number of individuals identifying as homeless at 1,351
  • The bulk of individuals identifying as homeless are male (66%) and white (43%)
  • More than half (53%) of respondents had lived in Santa Cruz County for at least three years

2013 Santa Cruz Homeless Survey

Infographic ExecutiveSummary Santa Cruz 2013

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