Overall, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Multnomah County has increased, according to the 2017 Point in Time count, but a larger share of those neighbors slept in shelter and off the street.
The results, released by the Joint Office of Homeless Services on Monday, June 19, are the first to emerge since local governments committed $20 million in new spending to confront the crisis on our streets.
The 2017 count found 12 percent fewer people were sleeping unsheltered in cars, tents and other outdoor places on Feb. 22 than were in 2015 -- 1,668 people.That decline marks a reversal after several years in which the unsheltered count surged or held steady. This year’s unsheltered count is the lowest it’s been since 2009.
Notably, the drop in the unsheltered count included reductions among groups the City of Portland and Multnomah County prioritized after their numbers spiked two years ago: African Americans, women, veterans, and families with children.