On a chilly, pre-dawn morning back on January 27th, almost 100 community volunteers fanned out across the entire county to participate in Marin’s 2017 Homeless Point-in-Time Count (PIT). The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities across the country to complete a PIT every two years at the end of January. Read more about the PIT methodology and the results from Marin’s 2015 Count.
#1 Homelessness overall is down countywide and in San Rafael.
#2 Chronic homelessness is up.
As we’ve been reporting the past few months, chronic homelessness continues to be a major challenge for our community. A smaller group (now approximately 32%, up from 20%) of the overall homeless community accounts for the vast majority of our challenges. Fortunately, in anticipation of this continued challenge, the City of San Rafael, the County of Marin, and our Service Providers have been pivoting to a new strategy to end chronic homelessness.
Tellingly, almost all people experiencing chronic homelessness are unsheltered, and 70% have some type of psychiatric or emotional challenge.
#3 The most common sleeping place is in vehicles.
On the morning of the count my team canvassed the area under 101 in Downtown San Rafael, the area east of 101 including Montecito and Whole Foods, and the Dominican neighborhood. I can personally attest that approximately 75% of the people we saw were in vehicles (mostly cars).