California’s Continuums of Care 2022 Homeless Counts Reveal a Total Homeless Count Increase

Total Homeless Count Comparisons

Table 1 compares the 2022 total unsheltered and sheltered homeless count to the 2019 and 2020 total homeless counts for each CoC and a collective total homeless count comparison for all the CoCs because most California CoCs did not conduct a 2021 unsheltered count after receiving an exception from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) because of pandemic related reasons.

Collectively, the 2022 total homeless count for all the CoCs reveal

  • A 13% increase when compared to their collective 2019 total homeless count; and
  • A 6% increase when compared to their collective 2020 total homeless count.

The 2022 homeless count results are also compared to both the 2019 and 2020 count results in Table 1 because not all of California’s 44 Continuums of Care (CoCs) completed an unsheltered count in 2020. HUD requires CoCs to complete a sheltered count every year but does not require an unsheltered count every year. However, HUD does require an unsheltered count every other year.

In 2019, all of California’s CoCs completed an unsheltered count and a sheltered count. However, in 2020, approximately half of California’s CoCs did not complete an unsheltered count and only completed a sheltered count. When a CoC does not complete an unsheltered count, HUD adds the unsheltered count from the previous year to the sheltered count for the following year. Thus, the 2020 total count in Table 1 for approximately half (21) of the 44 CoCs includes their 2019 unsheltered count. The 21 CoCs are listed in Table 1 with blue text.

In 2022, nearly all of California’s 44 CoCs completed an unsheltered count. Thus, the total count for nearly every CoC includes an unsheltered and sheltered count conducted in 2022.

Table 1 and subsequent tables include the count results that CoCs publicly reported since HUD required them to report their count results by May 6th in HUD Exchange (HDX). HUD officially reports total count results and related subpopulation data for each CoC and state in HDX during the late fall after each CoC’s count results are reviewed by HUD during the summer.

Click here to see a map of California’s 44 CoCs

As noted in ** directly above, the total count in Table 1 for two CoCs include their 2021 unsheltered count and their 2022 sheltered count. The two CoCs, CA-524 Yuba City/Sutter County CoC and CA-527 Tehama County CoC, completed an unsheltered count in 2021. Nearly all other CoCs did not complete an unsheltered count in 2021. HUD allowed CoCs to request an exception not to complete an unsheltered count for pandemic-related reasons. Most of California’s CoCs requested and received an exception from HUD after detailing pandemic-related reasons.

Unsheltered Homeless Count Comparisons

Table 2 compares 2022 unsheltered counts to 2019 and 2020 unsheltered counts for each CoC and a collective total comparison for all CoCs.  Nearly half (21) of the 44 CoCs did not complete an unsheltered count in 2020 and HUD added their 2019 unsheltered count to their 2020 sheltered count, These CoCs are listed with blue text in Table 2. Thus, their unsheltered count in 2020 is identical to their unsheltered count in 2019 as noted in Table 2.

Nearly half (21) of the 44 CoCs did not complete an unsheltered count in 2020. Therefore, HUD recorded their 2019 unsheltered count numbers as their 2020 unsheltered count total in HUD Exchange (HDX) CoC Homeless Populations and Subpopulation Reports. The 21 CoCs are listed with blue text in Table 2. Thus, their unsheltered count in 2020 is identical to their unsheltered count numbers in 2019, as noted in Table 2.

Collectively, the 2022 unsheltered homeless count for the CoCs reveal

  • A 5% Increase when compared to their collective 2019 unsheltered count; and
  • A less than 1% (0.4%) increase when compared to their collective 2020 unsheltered count.

Sheltered Homeless Count Comparisons

Table 3 compares 2022 sheltered counts to 2019 and 2020 sheltered counts for each CoC and a collective total comparison for all CoCs.  HUD requires all CoCs to conduct an annual sheltered count. Sheltered counts are made available at HUD Exchange (HDX) CoC Homeless Populations and Subpopulation Reports.

Collectively, the 2022 sheltered homeless count for the CoCs reveal

  • A 30% Increase when compared to their collective 2019 sheltered count; and
  • A 16% increase when compared to their collective 2020 sheltered count.

Urban Initiatives will include the following in another report for each of the three state CoC regions—Northern, Central, and Southern California:

  • A 2022 total count (unsheltered and sheltered) comparison to 2019 and 2020 total counts for each region;
  • A 2022 total unsheltered count comparison to 2019 and 2020 total counts for each region; and
  • A 2022 total unsheltered count comparison to 2019 and 2020 total counts for each region.

Click here to see a map of California’s three CoC regions.

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