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Homelessness -- United States -- Oregon, Homelessness -- Social aspects


Executive Summary This report, prepared by Portland State University’s Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative (PSU-HRAC) at the request of Oregon Housing and Community Services, provides estimates of people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness in 2021 at the state, county, and Continuum of Care (CoC) levels. Trends and demographics are also analyzed at those levels to the extent possible given the limitations of available data.

In 2021, Oregon Continuums of Care (CoCs) in charge of administering Point-in-Time (PIT) counts of people experiencing literal homelessness1 faced the unprecedented challenge of doing so in the midst of a major global pandemic. Some CoCs were able to safely conduct a count using survey methods, while others pulled numbers from Coordinated Entry (CE) lists utilized for service delivery or received a waiver from the federal government. The count itself was critically important to understand the impacts of economic chaos and service disruption on the number of people experiencing homelessness, but provided less comparability within and across CoCs than in previous years due to varying methods and waivers. The estimates in this report rely on PIT counts, CE lists, and trend analysis where data are missing. Methods and limitations are explained in full in the text following.

In 2021, an estimated 13,428 people experienced unsheltered homelessness across Oregon on a single night, according to an analysis of PIT counts (where conducted) and trends over time. An additional 4,579 people were reported to have experienced sheltered homelessness on a single night in January. This gives a total of 18,007 people experiencing homelessness across the state, although major gaps in the available data mean this number may not be completely accurate and is not directly comparable to earlier years. CE data from a similar timeframe (January to March) showed 25,678 people experiencing homelessness across the state. Because CE lists are continuously updated and managed in different ways across the state, they are not directly comparable to PIT counts, but both increased from 2020 to 2021. The modeled PIT count grew by 34.1 percent over that time and the CE count by 49.3 percent.

Demographic analysis was complicated by PIT count waivers, the fact that not all CoCs collected the same demographic data in CE lists, and a lack of available data from school districts on student homelessness for the 2020 to 2021 school year. A detailed explanation of the limitations, the methodology used, and the resulting demographic analysis are detailed in the report following.


© 2022 Portland State University Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative