Homelessness -- United States -- Oregon, Homelessness -- Social aspects
Executive Summary: This report presents county-level estimates of people experiencing homelessness in Oregon in 2022 relying on data from the Point-in-Time (PIT) count. The PIT count is, in essence, a census of people experiencing literal homelessness–those either living without shelter, in an emergency shelter, or in certain forms of transitional housing. The PIT count is conducted by the eight Continuums of Care (CoCs) in Oregon, which are government/nonprofit groups that administer federal funding to address homelessness. The 2022 PIT count listed 17,912 people as experiencing literal homelessness on a single night in January. The data suggest that there was little change in the sheltered homeless population between 2021 and 2022, with a decrease from 6,871 to 6,821. The PIT data also suggest that the unsheltered homeless population fell from 13,428 to 11,091. The change should be interpreted with caution, however, since there are persistent inconsistencies in how the PIT data are collected from year to year and place to place. In addition, the 2021 data used in this report are themselves estimates generated for that year’s report. Those estimates were necessary due to the multiple Continuums of Care (CoCs) that did not conduct a full PIT count in 2021. The most obvious pattern that emerges from a comparison of county-level 2021 estimates and 2022 data is that over this period the population of people experiencing homelessness, particularly sheltered homelessness, grew in most of the larger counties in the state but fell in most of the rest of the state. Unfortunately, the methodological differences mentioned above make it difficult to determine if this trend reflects actual changes in the population, if it is the result of different approaches to the PIT, or both. The report also includes data from the Oregon Department of Education that uses a much broader definition of homelessness than that employed in the PIT. Though these data only cover school-age children, it is possible to make an approximate comparison between those estimates and those of children in the PIT. The results of that comparison suggests that the PIT vastly underestimates the number of children experiencing all forms of homelessness in Oregon. Statewide, the McKinney-Vento estimate was 8.5 times larger than the PIT estimate. Finally, an analysis of the Housing Inventory Count (HIC) shows that statewide there were only 8,640 beds available to serve a homeless population of 17,912, meaning that there were more than twice as many people experiencing homelessness as there were shelter beds. This statewide trend was seen in 35 of the 36 counties in the state, suggesting that the shortfall affects all parts of the state including large metropolitan and smaller rural counties.
© 2023 Portland State University Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative
Green, Timothy, Jacen Greene, and Marisa Zapata. Oregon Statewide Homelessness Estimates 2022. Portland State University Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative, 2023.