Oregon Homeless Population Has Increased Dramatically, According to Federal Data

Oregon Homeless: In spite of the pandemic, the number of persons who are homeless across the country has stayed essentially unchanged since 2016, according to a report that was just made public at the national level. The survey also demonstrates something that the majority of people living in Oregon are already aware of: there has been an increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets throughout the state.

Oregon Homeless Population Has Increased Dramatically

According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 582,462 persons sleeping on the streets across the country over a single night in January of this year. This number represents a 0.3% rise since the year 2020.

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Point-in-time counts are intended to provide a picture of the number of people who are sleeping on the streets on any given night; nevertheless, these counts are frequently seen as an undercount.

According to the most recent data available from the federal government, the population of Oregon was 14,655, representing a growth of 22.5 percent since the year 2020.

Oregon Homeless Population Has Increased Dramatically
Oregon Homeless Population Has Increased Dramatically

Margaret Salazar, who most recently served as the director of the Oregon Housing and Community Services state agency and who now serves as the Northwest regional administrator for the Housing and Urban Development office of the federal government, described the statistics as “heartbreaking.”

She stated that a new plan developed by the federal government should assist Oregon in addressing the problem that is now taking place on the streets.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about it. It takes courage,” Salazar remarked to OPB.

The plan urges states to use the federal plan as a strategic guide and aims to reduce homelessness by 25 percent by the year 2025.

The plan proposes ways to increase the availability of low-cost housing and emergency shelters, but the primary goal will be to find ways to prevent those who are on the verge of losing their homes from actually losing them. The federal government also has plans to increase the amount of assistance it provides to state agencies.

This assistance will come in the form of both technical assistance, which will involve making use of the data that is currently available to gain an understanding of the problem, and an increase in the amount of human power, which will involve sending people who can reach out to the population that is without housing and assist in connecting them with resources.

There was one noticeable semi-bright spot in the federal data; the report shows that the number of unaccompanied homeless adolescents in Oregon has decreased by approximately 18.9% or 248 individuals.

In spite of this, children who are homeless are frequently referred to as “invisible children” due to the fact that many of them make a conscious effort to remain inconspicuous.

Tina Kotek, who is running for governor of Oregon, has pledged to make ending homelessness one of her top priorities if she is elected.

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The Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, along with his colleagues on the Portland City Council, is seeking to outlaw camping that is not sanctioned and to compel houseless persons into enormous encampments that are controlled by the city but have not yet been constructed. Wheeler has also proposed making it easier to put people living on the streets into hospitals, even if they have not committed a crime. This would apply to both adults and children.

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