San Diego County’s Homelessness Epidemic
San Diego County has one of the nations’ fastest growing populations and a rapidly escalating homeless epidemic. The increase in the homeless population in the county has been attributed to many reasons — the county’s temperate climate; availability of advocacy programs, including the regional headquarters for homeless services; the approval of the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative (Prop. 47); and a shortage of affordable housing.
The San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless conducts a yearly Point-In-Time Count of the county’s homeless including unsheltered (those living on the streets, in automobiles, abandoned buildings) and sheltered (those living in private or public temporary housing).
The most recent count completed in January 2018 concluded that:
- San Diego’s homeless population is the fourth largest in the country.
- More than 8,102 total homeless persons in the county.
- 10% of the total population are homeless veterans.
- 36% of the total population reported having a physical disability.
- 12% of the total population are youth under the age of 24.
- 78% of the total population reported becoming homeless in San Diego.
Although these numbers are quite troubling, these figures reflect only one day out of the entire year. Unfortunately, the homeless issue is much larger, and it is widely agreed that there are significantly more homeless in San Diego than the Point-In-Time count indicates.
Homelessness is San Diego’s number-one social service issue right now, and you can help.
No matter the reasons why our community’s homeless population is an epidemic, we believe it is our responsibility to share our luck and help our most vulnerable neighbors.