(KRON) — The number of unhoused people counted across Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose dropped slightly compared to last year, according to preliminary results of a 2023 Point-in-Time homeless census released Tuesday.

The data shows the overall number of homeless people counted this year decreased slightly, dropping 1.2% in Santa Clara County and 4.7% within San Jose city limits.

The 2023 PIT Count provided insights into trends among key sub-populations, including families. There was a 36.5% increase in the number of homeless families counted across the county, 80% of whom were completely sheltered, the census found.

The Point-in-Time Count is a census of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night. The results reflect “enormous challenges ahead,” county housing officials wrote, in one of the most expensive places to live in America.

“The PIT count is just a snapshot of one night so it is imprecise, but we can use the data, collected over time, as one of many tools to help us better understand the state of homelessness in Santa Clara County,” said Consuelo Hernandez, director of the County Office of Supportive Housing.

“Looking at this year’s count and previous years’ numbers, this signals to us that the crisis has not gotten worse despite the national and local economic fallout. However, the needs in the community continue to grow,” Hernandez said.

Preliminary data from the 2023 Point-in-Time Count for Santa Clara County

 20222023% Change

Over the past several years, stakeholders throughout the community have come together to build thousands of new units of affordable housing, scale homelessness prevention assistance, expand outreach and basic needs services, and pilot new temporary housing and shelter models.

“This year’s count shows that our investments in permanent housing, interim housing, and prevention are beginning to gain traction and the homelessness crisis appears to be stabilizing,” said Jacky Morales-Ferrand, director of San Jose’s Housing Department. “The count is also a reminder that thousands of people are still suffering on our streets.”

Preliminary data from the 2023 Point-in-Time Count for San Jose

 20222023% Change

The county and city outlined efforts made in recent years to increase affordable housing, provide services to help residents stay successfully housed, and offer resources that prevent people from falling into homelessness in the first place. Those efforts included:

  • Since 2020, the supportive housing system has helped 9,645 people move from homelessness to stable housing and has prevented homelessness for thousands of households.
  • In the six years since voters approved the Measure A Affordable Housing Bond in 2016, 4,481 new apartments and 689 renovated units are completed or underway.
  • Since the previous count in 2022, temporary and interim shelter capacity has expanded by 15%.
  • Since 2020, the Homelessness Prevention System helped more than 24,000 people remain stably housed while receiving services and only 3% of these households became homeless after receiving assistance. There has been a 27% drop in the number of people who become homeless for the first time in a given year.

“Thanks to our coordinated investments in temporary shelter, affordable housing, homelessness prevention and basic needs services, we are starting to stem the tide of homelessness in our community,” said Jennifer Loving, CEO of Destination: Home. “But we cannot take our foot off the pedal.”