SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – The increase in the homeless counted in San Bernardino County between 2018 and 2019 may have been a result of new data-collecting technology.
The point-in-time count counts both the sheltered and unsheltered homeless are done yearly in order to collect the data needed in order to seek funding for programs to serve the homeless in the county. The new technology and mapping help to provide a more accurate count and a more convenient way for those who serve the homeless community.
The Point-in-Time Count took place on January 24, 2019, and takes place yearly in the month of January. Throughout the year, the Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement (H.O.P.E.) makes contact with the homeless in the community to provide resources based on their needs. The objective of the H.O.P.E. team is to stop the arrests for many preventable homeless-related crimes by helping them transition from homelessness. Through their work, they have been able to produce a map of the homeless encampments saving the volunteer surveyors time.
This year, 2607 homeless people were counted, this is an increase of around 23 percent from last year when 2118 people were counted. Prior to the new data-collecting program, ESRI’s Survey123 for ArcGIS those surveying used a pen, paper, and clipboard to count. Although part of the increase was due to better data collection, the cost of housing may have also been a contributing factor.
Those over the age of 55 who are unsheltered has increased over 70 percent from 2018 to 2019, with 246 in 2018 and 422 in 2019. There were 1873 homeless adults who are newly homeless, becoming homeless in the last year. This is an increase of nearly 19 percent. San Bernardino has the highest count of unsheltered homeless with 639. Victorville had the second highest count with 179 unsheltered homeless.
While Victorville has the second highest unsheltered, it has the highest sheltered with 133 and San Bernardino having 123. This does not indicate that Victorville has a better handle on the homeless epidemic, much of the community recognize the revolving door nature of the sheltered population in the city. This is indicative by the 23 counted in transitional housing in Victorville, with 128 counted in San Bernardino city transitional housing.
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