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San Luis Obispo County releases latest homeless census

1,125. That’s how many people were homeless in San Luis Obispo County on January 30 of this year, when the county conducted a biannual point-in-time homeless census. 

A team of about a hundred people fanned across the county in the early morning hours to visually count homeless individuals. 36 of the team members had been homeless once themselves, so they knew where to look in hopes of getting as comprehensive a count as possible. Some of those counted were sleeping rough, some were in vehicles and some in encampments.

This week San Luis Obispo released the 2017 report. One of the report’s most significant findings is that this year’s figure is down 26 percent from two years ago, 2015. And this year’s homeless count is almost half of what it was in 2013, when 2,186 people were counted as homeless. The census takes place every two years.

Of this year’s count of 1,125 people, most are aged 40 to 60 years old. 82 percent are Caucasian, in contrast to five percent African-American. Atascadero is listed as the top place in the county where those contacted reported living before they became homeless.