Washoe County today released the results of the Jan. 26, 2023, point-in-time (PIT) count. The count is an annual tally of the number of people experiencing homelessness in Washoe County for a specific point in time.
The number of people experiencing homelessness was 1,690, an increase compared to last year’s PIT count of 1,605. That number includes 329 people who were living unsheltered such as in a tent or car on the street, which saw a decrease from the previous year’s 417, officials said.
According to the count, “the number of people counted living unsheltered decreased [from 2022], while the number of people in emergency shelter increased slightly,” county officials said.
The county’s chart of people experiencing homelessness, however, shows homelessness has been on the rise since May 2021, when the Nevada Cares Campus opened.
At that time, county data show 1,845 people experiencing homelessness in the region. That number for March of this year is 2,350. The populations on the decline since May of 2021 are youth experiencing homelessness and adults without children.
Deaths of those experiencing homelessness have also skyrocketed in recent years. First reported by This Is Reno, deaths in 2016 – when the county first began documenting the cases – were 22. That number jumped to nearly 100 last year.
The PIT data is different because it’s a snapshot in time, not a comprehensive count. Officials said more people are entering emergency shelter, and many of those have been placed into permanent housing.
Since April of 2022, the Cares Campus has seen 336 people go into permanent housing, according to the county.
Affordable housing in the Reno area remains elusive, though, which experts say exacerbates the homeless crisis.
“At the pace we have created new affordable housing since 2104, it would take us another 225 years to meet the current need,” said Washoe County’s Dana Searcy during a presentation to county commissioners April 12.