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County reports drop in homelessness, more people sheltered

By ThisIsReno

The number of people living homeless in Washoe County has declined by 10% since last year according to data released this week from the annual Point In Time count.

Despite the drop, there was still a 30% increase in people living homeless since before the pandemic, and many more people are living in shelters or transitional housing. 

The annual Point In Time, or PIT, count measures the number of people experiencing homelessness on one date each year. The result of the count is a snapshot in time that provides information on self-reported demographics and living conditions – sheltered or unsheltered homeless. 

This year’s PIT count came a month late, on Feb. 24 rather than late January as is traditional, due to the COVID-19 omicron surge. 

A total 1,605 people were counted as homeless, with the majority – 1,188 – sheltered. The remaining 417 were counted as unsheltered, meaning they were living on the street, in tents or in cars. 

Since the 2021 PIT count, the Nevada Cares Campus has increased its capacity to 604 beds, which is an additional 235 beds. Between the 2021 and 2022 PIT count the number of sheltered people increased nearly the same amount – 260 people. 

County officials also noted that the count was conducted on one of the coldest nights of the year when the overnight low was 13 degrees and an additional 52 cots were set up in the emergency shelter. This, they said, may be one reason more people were counted as sheltered this year than in years past. 

More data from this year’s PIT count is at https://www.washoecounty.gov/homeless/CoC/point_in_time_count-pit.php.

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