The Mission:

To put an end to homelessness in Kern County through collaborative planning and action.

In This Section

For information: Homelessness Resources Administrative Assistant Jessica M. Janssen (661) 834-1580 or Jessica.F@uwkern.org. 

 


2014 Kern County Point-In-Time Homeless Count

2/20/2014

2014 Kern County Point-In-Time Homeless Count Report

The Kern County Homeless Collaborative (KCHC) is pleased to announce that our ongoing efforts to end homelessness in Kern County remain on target. The latest result from the 2014 Homeless Census indicates a continued reduction in overall homelessness in Kern County.

The KCHC has been conducting full countywide counts of sheltered and unsheltered homeless since 2007, first biennially (every two years) and now annually. The Point-in-Time Count of the homeless conducted over a 24-hour period on Wednesday, January 22 through Thursday, January 23, 2014 showed a decrease in the overall unsheltered homeless population of 13% and a dramatic 37% decrease in metro Bakersfield. This continues a trend started in 2009 where each of the counts has yielded decreases from the previous years.

The Point-in-Time Homeless Count (also referred to as the “Homeless Census”) is a HUD-mandated activity that provides a snapshot of the local state of homelessness in Bakersfield, Delano and all of Kern County and ensures the continued flow of federal dollars into our community to provide for housing and other needs.

Reduction in overall homelessness is a goal set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for communities across the nation that receive funding through the Continuum of Care Program to provide housing and services for the homeless. In recent years, our community, known to HUD as the Bakersfield/Kern Continuum of Care, has received between $3 Million and $5 Million annually to help fight homelessness.

The KCHC has also set for itself the goal of reducing overall homelessness through “Home First! Kern County’s 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness,” and in its mission: To put an end to homelessness in Kern County through collaborative planning and action. 

Thanks to the efforts of the member agencies of the KCHC who work tirelessly to provide housing and services to the homeless; we are well on our way toward reaching those goals.

The large drop in the overall number of homeless persons can be attributed in great part to additional resources available to the Homeless Collaborative during the last three years to house the homeless. These include millions of federal dollars in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) assistance for the homeless and at risk, and Housing Voucher Programs from the Housing Authority of the County of Kern and the Veterans Administration that made permanent housing affordable to many homeless individuals and families, especially those unable to work because of a physical or mental disability.

 

Adults

Adults w/ Children

Children

Total Persons  

 (% change from previous count)

2013 Count

Sheltered Count - January 22

350

77

160

587

7%

547

Metro Bakersfield - Unsheltered Count - January 23

284

11

11

306

-37%

486

Regional Unsheltered Count - January 23

91

8

10

109

-8%

119

2014 Total

725

96

181

1002

-13%

 

2013 Total

924

79

149

1152

-20%

 

2011 Total

1220

79

140

1439

-4%

 

2009 Total

1251

88

160

1499

-2%

 

2007 Total

1248

97

192

1537

 

 

2014 Highlights:

While there was a slight increase in the sheltered population, this can be attributed to more participants in transitional housing programs.  This is a positive since it means those individuals in transitional housing are off the streets and in housing. It is also worth noting that the number of children in emergency shelter and transitional housing increased by 33% from 120 to 160.  This may be attributed in part to the fact that our family shelter had some very large families on the night of the Count, including those with 8 and 10 children respectively.   

The dramatic reduction continues in the unsheltered population including a drop in the chronically homeless population and families with children.  Southeast Bakersfield experienced the most change in the unsheltered population with a decrease of 70% (189 to 57).   

The Highest number of unsheltered homeless by area is as follows: Central Bakersfield 76, Oildale 71, Southeast Bakersfield 57, Delano 37, and Northeast Bakersfield 31.

60% of those surveyed stated they had a substance abuse disorder with alcohol and meth rating highest as the drugs of choice.  23% stated they have a mental illness.

After last year’s dramatic drop of one year or 12 months in the average time someone experienced homelessness (from 39 to 27 months), that trend continued going down to 24 months.  This is still well above the national average but moving in the right direction. 

Veteran homelessness was reduced by 30% in the unsheltered veteran population while the number of sheltered veterans and those in transitional housing programs remained steady. 

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