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Think Out Loud

Homelessness Increasing In Portland

Pete Springer/OPB

On January 30, 2013 at least 1,895 people in Multnomah County spent the night without shelter. Another 974 were in emergency shelter, and 1,572 were in transitional housing.

Those were the findings of the “Point in Time Count” coordinated by Portland and Multnomah County. Those numbers are all up from the most recent count two years ago, with the number of people without shelter showing an increase of 10 percent.

The snapshot comes at a time when the regional government is rethinking its approach to addressing homelessness. The City of Portland and Multnomah County recently “reset” their 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Among the changes is a plan to broaden the population receiving resources. The first “10 Year Plan” specifically focused on individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. The new plan focuses more on families experiencing homelessness or those temporarily experiencing homelessness.

The new strategy fits with the needs shown in the 2013 “Point in Time” count. The count showed an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness for less than a year, and a decrease in those experiencing it for more than a year.

Have you experienced or are you experiencing homelessness? What resources are available to you? How should the county or city address homelessness?

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