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Recent "Point In Time" count shows decrease of homelessness in Humboldt County

NORTH COAST- An update to a recent plan to end homelessness in the county was brought before the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Tuesday. It showed a three percent decrease in the number of homeless people in the county over the last two years.
 
The Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition first introduced the plan five years ago as a blueprint for how the community could work together to tackle the problems of homelessness.
 
“Thanks to the partnerships among those involved with the HHHC. We have seen many positive outcomes in our efforts to make a difference in the lives of people without housing,” said Barbara LaHaie, Department of Health and Human Services assistant director of programs, who also serves as the co-chair of the HHHC. “That said, we still have more work to do.”
 
On Tuesday supervisors heard a report about the results of the coalitions Point-In-Time count. The count happens every two years and calculates the number of homeless people during a one-day period. Coalition members said it is designed to gather basic information about families and individuals living without a regular place to sleep at night. The 2013 report showed a total of 1,579 people living without housing, down from 1,626 people counted last year during the same time period. Of those counted around 11-hundred were adults, 123 were children five and under and 100 were between the ages of 6 to 17.
 
“While the PIT count provides very useful data, it’s important to understand its limitations,” LaHaie said. “We do our best to interview as many people as we can. The count provides us with an estimate of the number of people who experience homelessness in Humboldt County on one given night and gives us a tool to measure the amount of need in our community.”