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How Many Temporary and Permanent Housing Beds for Homeless Persons Are There in California? What Is the Bed Coverage Rate in Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)?

– 137,292 temporary and permanent beds were reported by Continuums of Care in 2019–
–Approximately one-third were temporary beds and two-thirds permanent–

— Bed Coverage Rate Is Approximately Three-fourths–

This report focuses on the total number of beds in California for the following temporary types of housing, which include emergency shelter, safe haven, and transitional housing; and permanent types of housing, which include rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, and other permanent housing beds. This report also focuses on the bed coverage rate in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for each temporary and permanent housing type.

Information for this report came from Section 2A-2 and 2A-2a of the 2019 Continuum of Care Program applications recently submitted by California Continuums of Care (CoCs) to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for funding.

Total Number of Beds

The total number of temporary and permanent beds reported by all California continuums of care in 2019 was 137,292 as noted in Table 1

• 31,927 or 23.2% were emergency shelter beds;
• 309 or 0.2% were safe haven beds;
• 14,572 or 10.6% were transitional housing beds;
• 20,266 or 14.8% were rapid rehousing beds;
• 65,581 or 47.8% were permanent supportive housing beds; and
• 4,637 or 3.4% were other permanent housing beds.

Beds for Survivors of Domestic Violence

In addition, 5,985 or 4.3% of the 137,292 beds were dedicated to survivors of domestic violence. Of the 5,985 beds, 4,523 or three-fourths (75.6%) were for temporary housing—60.7% were for emergency shelter and 1,775 or 39.3% were for transitional housing.

Total Number of Beds in HMIS

As noted in Table 1, approximately three-fourths of all beds were participating in HMIS

• 70% of emergency shelter beds;
• 93.5% of safe haven beds;
• 65.8% of transitional housing beds;
• 92.5% of rapid rehousing beds;
• 73.6% of permanent supportive housing beds; and
• 58.2% of other permanent housing beds.

More than 100,000 beds (101,997) or 74.3% were in HMIS. Greater percentages of permanent beds were in HMIS than temporary beds.

Nearly 100% of rapid rehousing beds (92.5%) were in HMIS; 73.6% of permanent supportive housing beds; 70.0% of emergency beds; and 65.8% of transitional housing beds.

Table 1. Total Beds and HMIS Coverage Rates for Temporary and Permanent Beds Dedicated to Homeless Households

 

 

 

Housing Type

 

Total
Beds
in 2019
HIC

 

Total Beds
Dedicated
for DV

 

Total Beds in HMIS

 

HMIS Bed
Coverage Rate %*

Emergency Shelter (ES) beds 31,927 2,748 22,362 70.0
Safe Haven (SH) beds 309 0 289 93.5
Transitional Housing (TH) beds 14,572 1775 9,586 65.8
Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) beds 20,266 1015 18,757 92.5
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) beds 65,581 410 48,302 73.6
Other Permanent Housing (OPH) beds 4,637 37 2,701 58.2
Totals: 137,292 5,985 101,997 74.3

*The bed coverage rate is calculated by taking the total beds in HMIS and dividing into the total beds in 2019 HIC minus the total beds dedicated for survivors of domestic violence.

Next Steps

HMIS ties together homeless service providers within a community to help create a more coordinated and effective housing and service delivery system. It is used to record and track client-level information on the characteristics and service needs of homeless individuals, families, and persons at risk of homelessness. From this data, CoCs can develop data-driven strategies to guide and implement local efforts to prevent and end homelessness.

In Section 2A-2a of the 2019 CoC Program application, HUD stated that

“if the bed coverage rate is 84.99 percent or lower for any of the project types in question 2A-5., applicants must provide clear steps on how the CoC intends to increase this percentage for each project type over the next 12 months” and “how the CoC will implement the steps.”

The primary reasons noted in 2A-5a for a bed coverage rate below 85% were

• Limited participation by HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program; and
• Limited participation of privately funded organizations including faith-based organizations.

The next steps that CoCs noted in their applicants on how they intend to increase the percentage of HMIS participation for each project type over the next 12 months and how they will implement the steps are important to carry out.

The increase in percentage for temporary beds will happen if CoCs can convince privately funded organizations including faith-based organizations to enter their beds into HMIS. The increase in percentage for permanent beds will happen if CoCs can work with local HUD-VASH programs to enter their beds into HMIS.

If CoCs can increase the number of non-HMIS participating homeless service providers within their communities to enter their beds into HMIS, this will help create a more coordinated and effective housing and service delivery system. More and more data will help CoCs better understand the characteristics and service needs of homeless individuals, families, and persons at risk of homelessness. From the data, CoCs can develop data-driven strategies to further guide and implement local efforts to prevent and end homelessness.

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