Pima County homeless population at lowest level in six years, count says

Updated: Jun. 20, 2018 at 9:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The total number of homeless people in Pima County is going down, according to the new data from the group of volunteers that counts them.

The data collected by the Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH) shows that the total number of "persons experiencing homelessness" in Pima County is 1,380. 

The numbers were gathered on the night of January 23, 2018, by 244 volunteers on the 2018 Street Count. TPCH does the annual Point-in-Time count to help understand how many people are experiencing homelessness and the services they need, help plans to fill housing and support services, and to meet HUD requirements, the organization said.

On the night of January 23, 2018, volunteers interviewed and counted 363 persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness who were sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation, TPCH said. The volunteers also counted 1,017 persons experiencing sheltered homelessness, living in emergency shelters, safe havens, or transitional housing projects.

Staff and volunteers with TPCH said those totals continue a downward trend, registering the lowest number of homeless individuals counted in the last six years.

The outgoing TPCH chairman said it's just as important to figure out why these individuals are homeless, as it is to recognize the demographics of the data.

"I think some of that data - for example, the mental illness, domestic violence - these are pointed towards reasons why these people are out on the streets. It's helpful to try and recognize that we need more support here or help to get these people the help they need to get themselves back to being productive members of society," said Chairman Art Gage.

SEE THE 2018 HOMELESS COUNT DATA: https://www.tpch.net/

The results are ensured by HUD CoC-funded housing projects' team leaders and interviewers.

The count will help determine how much federal funding Pima County gets to help end homelessness. TPCH uses the data year-round to identify gaps, services, and significant trends in homeless populations.

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