SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A new count is showing that the number of homeless in California has continued to grow.
Wednesday, officials released their numbers from the 2019 Sacramento Homeless Point in Time count. According to their findings, 5,570 people experience homelessness in Sacramento County on any given night – an increase of 19 percent from last year.
Officials noted, however, that this year’s count was considerably more comprehensive than in years past.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg noted that the report dispelled the idea that homeless people are moving to Sacramento in significant numbers.
“People will rightfully ask how chronic homelessness can be down while the overall homeless numbers are going up,” Steinberg wrote in a statement after the numbers were released. “The answer is that we have a housing crisis.”
According to the count, 93 percent of the homeless people interviewed said they were from the Sacramento area.
The report also noted that the rate of homelessness in Sacramento is consistent with other California cities.
Steinberg said, in the coming months, the city will be opening hundreds of new shelter beds for the homeless. He touted the decrease in number of people being defined as chronically homeless as a step in the right direction.
“Any increase is disappointing, but the numbers also contain hopeful signs,” Steinberg wrote. “This change shows that our strategy of targeting the most chronically homeless with services and shelter is beginning to work, and we need to take it to scale.”
The count was done over two nights in January. More than 900 volunteers helped in the count.