Yolo County’s homeless population rose nearly 14% over the past three years to a total of 746 people, according to a county report published Tuesday.
The county’s 2022 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count showed a relatively modest increase compared with the county’s 43% spike documented between 2017 and 2019.
“With our current efforts, we are hoping that the 2022 increase of 13.9% is a start of a downward trend,” a Yolo County news release explained.
While the county’s overall homeless population increased, the number of unsheltered homeless people dropped nearly 5%. That category refers to anyone living on the street, in a tent, vehicle or abandoned building.
County officials credited new homelessness programs for the reduction. Early last year, the county and nonprofit Fourth & Hope opened a 6,500-square-foot homeless shelter on the outskirts of Woodland.
"While we still have a lot of work to do in continuing to address homelessness, I am encouraged by the efforts of so many in our community to address the ongoing needs of those in our County experiencing unsheltered or sheltered homelessness,” Ian Evans, a Branch Director for Yolo County’s Health and Human Services Agency, said in a press release.
The report shows most unhoused residents were counted in West Sacramento, Woodland and Davis.
It also found 22% of those surveyed said they lived in Yolo County all their life, with another 16% saying they had lived in the county for seven years or more. Nearly half said they came to the county because they grew up there or had family or friends there. Less than 5% said they came to the county for its social services or affordable housing.
Evans said that shows “these folks are a part of our community, often friends, neighbors, and loved ones.”
Like in other counties, Yolo’s homeless population has increased amid the state’s growing affordable housing crisis. But the recent increase in the county’s homeless population was more moderate than in some neighboring counties. Sacramento County, for example, saw a 67% spike in its homeless population over the past three years, according to a report published in June.
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