“Every member of our community deserves a safe and stable
home—and it is our collective responsibility to make this vision a reality.”
Yet, despite this progress, homelessness continues to grow. For every homeless family or individual connected to housing in the County, between two and three more are experiencing homelessness for the very first time. This is fueled by a number of systemic factors: the rising gap between the rich and the poor in our community, combined with the lack of affordable housing, particularly at the lowest income levels, and longstanding structural racial inequities. These challenges have been compounded by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, placing ever-more pressure on the nearly 10,000 individuals currently experiencing homelessness and the tens-of-thousands more at risk of falling into homelessness in the coming months and years.
Core Strategies to End Homelessness:
- Address the root causes of homelessness through system and policy change;
- Expand homelessness prevention and housing programs to meet the need; and
- Improve quality of life for unsheltered individuals and create healthy neighborhoods for all.
Rate of Individuals and Households That Obtain Permanent Housing Who Return to Homelessness Within Two Years
The Office of Supportive Housing intends to reduce instances of formerly homeless households returning to homelessness, contributing to its goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring in Santa Clara County. This measure is tracked using the Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS). Data is entered into the system by participating community partners and County departments that provide services to homeless households throughout Santa Clara County.
This measure looks at individuals and households that exited outreach, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent housing to permanently housed destinations two years prior to the reporting period. It measures the rate at which those households return to shelters and other programs that serve people who are homeless over the two-year period. It provides one indicator of the County’s effort to reduce homelessness in our community by measuring rates of recidivism for recently housed homeless individuals and families.
Number of Sheltered and Unsheltered Homeless Persons Enumerated at a Point-in-Time
The Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) intends to reduce the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons. The OSH coordinates the community’s point-in-time counts. Each year, the community uses the Homeless Management Information System (and reports from some agencies) to report the number of sheltered homeless persons on a given night (mid-January) in Santa Clara County. Every other year, the community augments the “sheltered count” with an unsheltered count and a survey of homeless persons. The biannual count is known as the Biennial Homeless Census and Survey, and often referred to simply as the “Point-in-Time (PIT) Count.” It provides one indicator of the County’s effort to reduce homelessness in our community by measuring the number of individuals experiencing homelessness at a given point-in-time.
*The 2021 unsheltered PIT count was not conducted due to the pandemic, so estimates are based on the previous years.
**The 2022 unsheltered PIT count was delayed to the end of February due to the Omicron outbreak.