You may have heard or read in the news of HUD’s latest estimate of the number of people experiencing homelessness in the United States. The 2014 HUD Annual Homeless Assessment Report may be useful in tracking the national trends, but because of issues related to data reporting rather than people, it does not provide an accurate comparison of homelessness from year to year in our community.
Unfortunately, most of the decrease in homelessness reported for Multnomah County this year reflects a partial shelter count and a change in the way HUD classifies some homeless programs. No new count of unsheltered individuals was conducted last year. The next count will be conducted the last week of January, 2015.
That said, as a community we have committed to a new way of doing business. We are working together across government lines toward ending homelessness for the most vulnerable members of our community, including an on-going collaborative that is housing homeless disabled veterans. We look forward to proving that we can change these numbers in a real and meaningful way.
Dan Saltzman, Commissioner, City of Portland
Deborah Kafoury, Chair, Multnomah County
Traci Manning, Director, Portland Housing Bureau
For more information, contact Martha Calhoon in the Portland Housing Bureau at Martha.Calhoon@Portlandoregon.gov