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NEVADA CITY, Calif. April 6, 2018 – The number of homeless individuals in Nevada County decreased slightly in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to county results from the annual point-in-time count published today by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras. HRCS is the lead agency in the region’s Homeless Continuum of Care, composed of numerous local government and nonprofit agency partners in Nevada and Placer Counties.
A total of 272 homeless individuals were counted across Nevada County, from Grass Valley to the Town of Truckee. The count surveyed both unsheltered and sheltered individuals and was conducted by volunteers and county staff for the night of Jan. 24. By comparison, 371 homeless individuals were identified in the 2017 count.
“We are encouraged to see signs that the efforts we’ve made around housing, along with comprehensive services to address barriers from mental health challenges to substance use, appear to be bearing fruit,” said Leslie Brewer, board president of the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras.
January marked the launch of Coordinated Entry, a telephone gateway to housing resources for homeless people who can connect through 2-1-1 or calling 877-847-0499. The Grass Valley nonprofit, Connecting Point, has fielded 543 Coordinated Entry calls as of February 28th.
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors has prioritized and provided additional funding for housing and homelessness and conducted and facilitated community meetings with stakeholders, elected officials, and service providers in an effort to identify gaps in services and improve service delivery.
The Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency created a new position, Housing Resources Manager, drafted a plan to address homelessness, and reenergized the coordination of services through the local Continuum of Care.
In 2017, the Nevada County Behavioral Health Department (NCBHD), utilizing multiple funding streams, was able to expand its partnership with Nevada County Housing Development Corporation (NCHDC) to increase the number of units available to individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness.
Of adults who responded to detailed survey questions, 44 percent were chronically homeless. 35 percent reported having a serious mental illness, and 22 percent had a substance use disorder.
Of those who responded to the survey question, 66% stay in Nevada County because they are originally from the area or want to be close to family. 54% of survey respondents lived in Nevada County for five years or longer prior to becoming homeless.
Point-in-time counts are snapshots from a single day that can be used to approximate broad trends, and are not meant to be a comprehensive measure of an area’s homeless population.
Typically, they are viewed as undercounts for a community’s yearly overall homeless population because many people may move in and out of homelessness throughout the year.
For more information on the 2018 Nevada County Point In Time Results, please visit https://www.mynevadacounty.com/2413/Better-Together.