Contact: Pearl Wolfe, Lane County Human Services Commission supervisor, 541-682-4629 or email@example.com
A total of 2,140 people were counted in Lane County during the 2011 One Night Homeless Count. This number includes homeless community members who were counted on the streets, under bridges, in parks, at food pantries, day access centers, churches, emergency shelters, transitional housing, Safe Havens and other locations on January 26, 2011. Approximately 92 staff and volunteers from 20 organizations including 58 programs counted homeless people this year.
Of the 2,140 people counted:
· 1,406 people were unsheltered either because they were turned away due to a lack of shelter availability or they were otherwise unable to access shelter
· 338 individuals accessed Transitional Housing
· 367 individuals accessed Emergency Housing
· 29 individuals accessed Safe Haven Housing
“Everyone deserves a safe place to live,” said Pearl Wolfe, Human Services Commission supervisor. “Our One Night Homeless Count offers solid data on the level of homelessness in Lane County. The count helps to inform policy and funding decisions that will make a difference in the lives of homeless people. This count is important because it establishes the dimensions of the problem of homelessness and helps policymakers and program administrators track progress toward the goal of ending homelessness. This helps to inform public opinion, increase community awareness, and attract resources that will lead to the ending homelessness."
Local efforts to change conditions for people who are homeless include the Egan Warming Center and Project Homeless Connect. The Egan Warming Center was open at six sites during 19 nights of shelter when the temperature fell below 30 degrees this season. More than 920 individuals spent an average of five nights at the shelters for a total of more than 4,544 shelter beds. There were anywhere from 173 to 319 people sheltered on any given night with an average of about 240 homeless people sheltered each night the warming centers were open.
These projects demonstrate the community’s ability to have a positive impact on homeless people’s lives. The Egan Warming Center, with the aid of more than 400 volunteers, provided 1,551 shelter beds at five faith-based sites this winter season.
“This snapshot in time only paints part of the picture of homelessness locally,” said Wolfe. “Annual figures show that 10,708 individuals who sought services from local programs were homeless at some point during the year.”
The one-night count takes place across the state of Oregon each January. It provides a snapshot of the problem of homelessness to help policymakers target resources to the areas of the state experiencing the greatest need.
One-night counts are required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development which provides funding for housing and services to single adults, families and youth who are homeless in Lane County.
Public Information Officer
Lane County Government
125 E. Eighth Ave.
Eugene, Oregon 97401