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Final Homeless Count Numbers Released


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Although there were more people beating the bushes three weeks ago during a countywide homeless count than during a similar effort two years ago, slightly fewer homeless individuals were found. This year, 550 volunteers made contact with 1,462 homeless individuals during a two-day search compared to 1,576 two years ago. As last time, the majority were middle-aged white males from Santa Barbara County confronting serious addiction and mental health problems. “The main story is the sameness of everything,” said Rob Fredericks with the City of Santa Barbara Housing Authority, who helped lead the effort. “We need to do a better job finding these people services and getting them into housing.” The point of the count is to determine which homeless individuals are most at risk of dying and to get them indoors. Of the homeless contacted this year, 220 had been counted in the previous census and 1,240 had not been. The City of Santa Barbara had 945, Santa Maria 300, Lompoc 101, and Isla Vista 81.