AUBURN, CA. — The annual Point-in-Time survey of people experiencing homelessness in Placer and Nevada County was conducted January 25 through February 3, 2023, by 150 volunteers, nonprofit, and city and county staff, asking people where they stayed on the night of January 25. The 2023 count of sheltered and unsheltered individuals surveyed a minimum of 709 individuals experiencing homelessness in Placer County, and a minimum of 496 individuals experiencing homelessness in Nevada County. By comparison, the 2022 count surveyed a minimum of 750 individuals experiencing homelessness in Placer County and 527 people experiencing homelessness in Nevada County. The count surveyed 407 unsheltered individuals in Placer County and 227 unsheltered individuals in Nevada County.

This effort was led by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras (HRCS), the lead organization in the region’s Continuum of Care for homelessness. HRCS is a nonprofit collaborative comprised of members representing nonprofit and government agencies who coordinate resources and develop strategies to end homelessness in Placer and Nevada Counties. A Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a one-night estimate of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. The PIT count provides the number and demographic characteristics of persons who are homeless on the night of the count, both sheltered in emergency shelter or transitional housing; or unsheltered, on the street or in some other place unfit for human habitation, on the night of the count. The PIT count was made possible in part by generous financial support from Anthem, Kaiser Permanente, and California Health and Wellness.

“These data alongside data collected and shared everyday across public and private sector service providers are critical to direct how our local systems can better serve our unhoused neighbors. However, it is important to recognize the humanity within these data points,” said Samuel Holmes, Executive Director of the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras. “Behind these numbers are the human experiences of people living through the trauma of homelessness. For example, surveyors connected with an 81-year-old veteran living in his vehicle and over twenty families with children under the age of 3. It’s also important to remember that these data represent the minimum count of individuals experiencing homelessness on a single night in January.”

The 2023 PIT count in Placer County identified 78 people who self-identified as survivors of domestic violence, 47 as veterans, 25 as unaccompanied youth, and 311 as living with a mental health disability. In Nevada County, 50 individuals self-identified as survivors of domestic violence, 27 as veterans, 26 as unaccompanied youth, and 209 as living with a mental health disability.

Of adults who responded to survey questions in the 2023 PIT count, 37 percent of those experiencing homelessness were identified as chronically homeless in Placer County and 30 percent in Nevada County. People experiencing chronic homelessness are living with mental illness, substance use disorders, physical disabilities, or other medical conditions; and have been unhoused for one year currently or repeatedly over the last three years.

“Permanent supportive housing is the best option we have to support those living with severe barriers,” said Holmes. “Luckily, new resources are coming online to provide high quality tools for our system to address comorbid mental and physical disabilities as well as social determinants of health for the most vulnerable and hardest to find appropriate housing for in our community.”

Homeless individuals wishing to access basic shelter and housing services in Placer and Nevada Counties should call 2-1-1 to be connected to services.

The Continuum of Care for Roseville/Rocklin/Placer County (CA-515) and the Continuum of Care for Nevada County (CA-531) are standing advisory committees to HRCS. HRCS brings people together in collaboration to develop, coordinate and support projects, services and resources that will enhance our partners’ ability to prevent and end homelessness in Placer and Nevada Counties. HRCS is the “collaborative applicant” to apply for funds on behalf of the Continuum of Care and administrative entity for the Placer and Nevada Counties’ Continuums of Care.