Homelessness in Alameda Increased More Than Ten Percent Over Last Three Years

EveryOne Home--Statistics from the City of Alameda's Point in Time Count outlining the city's homeless population.

Homelessness in Alameda Increased More Than Ten Percent Over Last Three Years

The population of people experiencing homelessness in the City of Alameda increased by more than 14% since 2019, according to a preview of the Alameda County “Point in Time” (PIT) count report released Monday, May 16.

The PIT count of individuals and families experiencing homelessness records the number of people staying in shelters and transitional housing and estimates the number of unsheltered people living outdoors on a given night every two years. This year’s count was conducted on Feb. 23.

According to the report, on Feb. 23 there were 264 people experiencing homelessness living in the City of Alameda. Of these people, 84 were living in shelters and 180 were unsheltered. The amount of unsheltered people living in Alameda increased significantly since 2019, the last time the PIT count was conducted. In 2019, there were 231 people experiencing homelessness living in Alameda, with 99 living in shelters and 132 unsheltered people. The 180 unsheltered people marks a 36% increase from the tally recorded in 2019.

Of the 180 unsheltered people recorded, 18 live in a tent, 79 live in a car or van, 31 live in an RV and 52 live on the street. The report did not find any unsheltered Alamedans living in an abandoned building or house. The count does not include people temporarily living in a motel, on a friend’s couch or in other less-than-stable circumstances.

The City of Alameda’s homelessness increase rate (14%) is lower than the Alameda County increase rate of 22%. People experiencing homelessness in Alameda County increased from 8,022 people in 2019 to 9,747 in 2022. Of the 9,747 people experiencing homelessness, 7,135 are unsheltered. Like the City of Alameda, most unsheltered people in Alameda County live in a car or van (2,318).
More than half of the people experiencing homelessness in Alameda County live in Oakland. According to their PIT count, 5,055 people in Oakland are experiencing homelessness (3,337 unsheltered). Berkeley is second with 1,057 people experiencing homelessness (803 unsheltered). However, Berkeley’s homeless population decreased by 50 people since 2019.

The highest increase in people experiencing homelessness in Alameda County occurred in the City of Fremont. Fremont has 1,026 people experiencing homelessness in their 2022 PIT count — third most in the county. It is a 68.7% increase from their 2019 PIT count (608). The number of unsheltered individuals also increased significantly from 485 in 2019 to 866 in 2022.

Only six Bay Area counties have released a preview of their 2022 PIT count report (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Sonoma). Contra Costa County saw the biggest increase in people experiencing homelessness with a 35% rise from their 2019 count. San Francisco saw the biggest decrease at 3.5%.

The City of Alameda’s PIT count was conducted by hundreds of volunteers who canvassed the city and counted the number of unsheltered people. Volunteers included Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi, AUSD Board President Jennifer Williams, and Alameda Community Development Director Lisa Maxwell (“Mayor’s Message on Alameda’s Plans to Help Unhoused Residents,” March 3).

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities to conduct a PIT count of individuals, youth, and families experiencing homelessness and provide accompanying data. PIT count data informs program, policy, funding, and system design decisions on homelessness by the state of California and individual counties.

Alameda County’s PIT count is administered by EveryOne Home, a nonprofit whose mission is to end homelessness in Alameda County. The PIT count was supposed to be conducted in 2021 but was postponed due to COVID-19.

The City of Alameda is in the process of constructing several housing developments with the intention to combat homelessness in the city and Alameda County. The McKay Avenue Wellness Center will include a 50-bed recuperative care facility for unhoused Alameda County residents to resolve acute conditions, stabilize chronic conditions, and receive hospice care (“Alameda Collaborative Executive Gives Council Campus Update,” March 24). The city is using a $12 million Project Homekey grant to build Dignity Village, a 47-unit interim supportive housing development that will house unsheltered adults and transitional age youth (“City Awarded $12.3 Million to Build Dignity Village,” March 11).

Also, the City Council approved a plan to house unsheltered people at three city-owned homes at Alameda Point with a 3-2 vote at its May 3 meeting (Councilmembers Tony Daysog and Trish Herrera Spencer voted against). The homes will be renovated and be ready for occupancy by the end of the year. Two of the homes will be designated for individual families, and the other will be for up to six individual people, with a preference on seniors.

The full Alameda County PIT count report will be released in July. To read the preview of the City of Alameda PIT count report, visit https://tinyurl.com/4r7pmwxy.

EveryOne Home   Slide two.
City of Alameda    Dignity Village is one of several Alameda developments aimed at reducing the city’s unsheltered population.