While ASR has been a strong advocate of including homeless children and youth in data collection and outreach strategies, we have not lost site of the big picture. Homelessness affects children, youth, and adults. In total, ASR conducted homeless counts and surveys in 7 Northern and Central California counties: Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma. Results from the census counts showed that while the population of those experiencing homelessness has shifted to include more families and unaccompanied children and youth, the majority of the population continues to be single adults over the age of 25.
ASR has been conducting homeless counts and surveys for more than 14 years, and ASR continues to train individuals currently experiencing homelessness to conduct face-to-face surveys with their peers. A total of 3,500 surveys were conducted in 2013 and when compared to the previous year’s data found that people have been on the street for longer periods of time. Fewer 2013 survey respondents were experiencing homelessness for the first time.
When looking more specifically at the demographics of survey respondents, the most common survey respondent was a single man over the age of 40. Sixteen percent of respondents had been in the foster care system and one in ten was a U.S. military veteran.
More than two-thirds of respondents reported a disabling condition. Thirty-three percent were identified as chronically homeless, having been on the street for an extended period of time with a disabling condition that prevented them from maintaining work or housing.
Results from the 2013 Homeless Counts and Surveys showed a continued epidemic. While some communities saw decreases in their census numbers, most experienced modest to significant increases in the number of people without housing. Surveys showed that while some individuals have been affected by the housing crisis, many more are dealing with continued effects of poverty, unemployment, high housing costs and poor health.
For more information, please contact Samantha Green at Samantha@appliedsurveyresearch.org or 831-728-1356 and visit our website, where you can see some of our homeless census and surveys at /homeless/