For Immediate Distribution
April 24, 2023
Media contact: Eliza Wilson, Chair, Homeless Leadership Coalition
ewilson@jbarj.org (541) 410-8534

Homeless Leadership Coalition Announces 2023 Point In Time Count Results

Bend, Oregon – April 24, 2023 — The Homeless Leadership Coalition is a collaboration of community partners driven by the knowledge that “we are stronger, healthier, safer communities where people can thrive when everyone has a safe, stable place to call home!”

A Point In Time Count was conducted January 24-31 in Central Oregon to capture data on both sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness to provide a snapshot of homelessness in the United States. It is the only source of nationwide data on sheltered and unsheltered homelessness and is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of all jurisdictions receiving federal funding to provide housing and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This information helps the federal government to better understand the nature and extent of homelessness. Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), the Collaborative Applicant, provides administrative and fiscal support to the regional Continuum of Care. Highlights from this year’s count include the following:

  • 2023 Point in Time Count shows a 28% increase in homelessness over last year
  • 1,647 people experienced literal homelessness in Central Oregon on January 24th, 2023
  • 72% of people counted were unsheltered
  • 79% of those counted have lived in Central Oregon for 3 years or longer
  • More than 80% of those counted have been homeless for more than 12 months
  • 46% of all people living unsheltered and chronically homeless were over the age of 50.
  • The total number of youth experiencing homelessness continues to climb
  • Central Oregon continues to see that people of color experience homelessness at a greater rate than white peers*

This count provides the Homeless Leadership Coalition (CoC, OR-503) and our collaborators with information about the number of individuals in Central Oregon who are struggling to find adequate housing and shelter. In addition to the total number of sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness, information is gathered on a wide range of characteristics of those experiencing homelessness including age, gender, race, ethnicity, veteran status, and disability status. Local partners like governments, service providers, housing providers, healthcare providers, and schools will be able to better target support services and develop comprehensive plans to address poverty and homelessness in Central Oregon by taking these population trends into account.

Individuals and families counted through this effort include people living in:

  • Shelters or hotels/motels paid for by a voucher
  • Transitional housing
  • Camping, sleeping outdoors or in cars or in RV’s without full hookup
  • Other places not meant for human habitation like a shed or storage unit

You can access information about the 2023 Point In Time Count Results here.

“Central Oregon continues to see rising numbers of our community members experiencing homelessness, most of whom have called Central Oregon their home for many years. Following the financial hardship of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many of our neighbors are facing eviction. Upon the expiration of the ‘Eviction Moratorium’, we are seeing record numbers of Central Oregonians losing their housing; we believe this is why we are seeing an increase in people who are experiencing homelessness for the first time. Central Oregon’s high rent and low vacancies only further the difficulty of housing people who are already experiencing homelessness. Aside from a shortage in affordable and low-income housing, our community does not have the adequate number of available shelter beds to meet the need of people trying to access shelter services; this is a key factor in why our community continues to see a high number of people living unsheltered in our annual Point in Time Count. In the 2022 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, Central Oregon is referenced for: the Highest Percentages of People Experiencing Family Homelessness who are Unsheltered and the Highest Percentages of Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness Who are Unsheltered. Our community is facing this crisis together; Central Oregonians experiencing homelessness are oftentimes elderly, people who are medically vulnerable, veterans, families with children, and unaccompanied youth. Service providers in our region are working together with shared passion and goals to reduce occurrences of homelessness and to create a community where everyone has equal access to safe and stable housing.” said Eliza Wilson, Chair of Homeless Leadership Coalition.

In 2021, Central Oregon joined Built for Zero, a national initiative of more than 100 cities and counties working to measurably and equitably end homelessness. Built for Zero communities work towards ending homelessness for all, by focusing on building systems that can continuously reduce homelessness for populations. The Built for Zero methodology helps communities create coordinated, data-driven systems using population-level insights, like inflow and outflow, which enables communities to understand whether efforts are driving down the overall number of people experiencing homelessness. Then, communities target interventions based on that data.

“Resolving this crisis takes an all hands on deck, solutions-focused approach. Every elected official, service provider, and system that interacts with people at risk of or experiencing homelessness must share the vision and the responsibility to prevent and end homelessness. This work does not end until every person in Central Oregon has an affordable, safe, and stable place to sleep at night,” said Lindsey Stailing, Secretary of Homeless Leadership Coalition.

The HLC thanks the many service providers and their volunteers for their Point in Time Count survey efforts and their daily work to meet the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. Special thanks goes to NeighborImpact for their help with Point in Time Count survey management and data tabulation and their continued leadership as we integrate the Built for Zero methodology into our Homeless Response System. As our region’s council of governments, COIC plays an important role in convening the region to leverage resources and align efforts to achieve success, which is essential to addressing this crisis. Data such as the PIT count is essential to knowing how and where we can invest limited resources to make the greatest impact. No, solving this crisis will not be easy- and it will unfortunately not happen overnight. But with good data, alignment of efforts and leveraging resources, we will make a significant difference in the lives of many Central Oregonians.

About the Point in Time Count:

Counts occurred in La Pine, Sunriver, Bend, Sisters, Redmond, Prineville, Madras and Warm Springs. Surveys were conducted for the night of January 24th 2023. Surveys were collected between January 24-31st all asking about where the individual or household slept on the night of January 24th.

2023 PIT table

Definitions: 

Sheltered: Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, Hotel/Motel Paid for with Voucher

Unsheltered: place not meant for human habitation (i.e. car, outside, abandoned building, etc.)
Household: A group of respondents who self report as a household (could be partners or parents and children)

*View HUD’s CoC Analysis Tool: Race and Ethnicity here.

For more information or to request a presentation on the Point in Time Count results or the Built for Zero movement, please contact the HLC at info@cohomeless.org

The Homeless Leadership Coalition (HLC) leads a community centered, coordinated, and collaborative response to prevent and end homelessness as the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designated Continuum of Care (CoC OR-503) for Central Oregon. Coalition membership includes representation from Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and represents nonprofit homeless assistance providers, victim service providers, faith-based organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service providers, mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable housing developers, law enforcement, people with lived experience of homelessness, and others who care about the issues facing our unhoused neighbors. The HLC works to prevent and end homelessness so that our communities will have a comprehensive response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible, or if it can’t be prevented, it is a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.

Media Contact: Eliza Wilson, ewilson@jbarj.org (541) 410-8534