Number Of Homeless In SB County Increased 13.5 Percent Since Last Year

The number of homeless in San Bernardino County, as documented in the official annual census of the dispossessed taken by a cooperative of local governmental entities and volunteers, is on the rise. According to the 2018 San Bernardino County Point-In-Time Count, which was conducted this year on January 25, there were 2,118 persons throughout the 20,105-square mile county without a permanent place to live. That represented an increase of 252, or 13.5 percent, over the 1,866 so-called “subpopulation” around the county tabulated in a similar January 2017 count.
As was the case last year, the City of San Bernardino was the single jurisdiction with the highest number of unsheltered. Redlands, which held the dubious distinction of holding second place in the homeless number sweepstakes last year, dropped to third place this year, switching with Victorville, which last year had the third largest homeless tally but this year had the county’s second most. Upland remained in fourth place. Meanwhile, Ontario which last year was tied for fifth, was surpassed by Barstow, which moved into fifth place, Ontario thus dropped into being host to the sixth largest homeless population in the county this year; and Rialto, which was tied with Ontario last year, dropped to eighth, eclipsed by Fontana, which moved up to seventh.
In descending order, the homeless populations of the county’s cities/unincorporated communities were: San Bernardino: 646; Victorville: 263; Redlands: 143; Upland: 125; Barstow: 93; Ontario: 90; Fontana: 72; Rialto: 71; Rancho Cucamonga: 64; Yucca Valley: 59; Highland: 49; Loma Linda: 46; Colton: 42; Adelanto: 30; Chino: 28; Hesperia: 27; Twentynine Palms: 20; Joshua Tree: 19; Crestline: 18; Apple Valley: 17; Needles: 11; Yucaipa: 11; Chino Hills: 10; Montclair: 8; Muscoy: 7; Bloomington: 7; Chino Hills: 6; Morongo Valley: 4; Phelan: 4; Running Springs: 3; and Grand Terrace: 1.
The federal government uses the annual point in time count to apportion federal funds intended to deal with homelessness.
According to officials with the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, which operates an outreach arm known as the office of homeless services, the county in the last year has seen a 12.6 percent increase in the number of homeless veterans, a 23 percent increase in the number of unaccompanied women and an uptick of more than 96 percent in unsheltered families.
The statistics indicated that a significant portion of the county’s homeless are recently destitute, as the survey showed that while the overall numbers increased in the county, there was an 18 percent decrease in the chronically homeless population.
Mark Gutglueck

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