Local homeless population on the rise 

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO
  • File photo

Results from this year's Point-In-Time Survey, also known as the "homeless headcount," show that on Jan. 22, 1,415 people were experiencing homelessness in El Paso County and under 70 percent were sheltered. The number of unsheltered people — 457 — is almost a 50 percent increase from last year but is still considered an undercount.

The jump is at least partially attributable to better methodology. "Blackbird Outreach has been reaching people year round, doing a good job of getting into camps, which creates better relationships with those living outside of shelter and hence more people trusted enough to complete a survey," Urban Peak executive director Shawn Kemppainen wrote by email.

About 60 percent of people counted are from El Paso County. The housing inventory component of the survey shows 944 year-round beds available to households without children — barely enough for all the reportedly sheltered people. 


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