Point-in-Time (PIT) Counts

2024 Point-in-Time Count

Housing for Health Partnership Reports Sustained Progress in 2024 Point-in-Time Count

The Housing for Health Partnership (H4HP) is pleased to announce the complete 2024 Point-In-Time (PIT) Count is now available.

As previously announced, the 2024 PIT Count shows Santa Cruz County maintained progress in reducing the impacts of homelessness on individuals and the community. The number of people experiencing homelessness is 1,850, a 2.6 percent increase from the prior year when the count showed the lowest number of persons experiencing homelessness ever recorded.

"This data demonstrates the effectiveness of local investments and strategies, including the Housing for a Healthy Santa Cruz County framework, in contributing to sustainable reductions in homelessness,” Santa Cruz County Housing for Health Director Robert Ratner said. “While the overall numbers remain essentially unchanged, the full report demonstrates that our community still has challenges ahead of us in addressing this issue.”

Inconsistent State funding to address homelessness and the spiraling cost of housing threatens progress in managing homelessness locally. According to a recent study, Santa Cruz County is not only the least affordable rental market in the nation, but housing costs are 20 percent higher than the next least affordable market. The lack of affordable housing and housing in general make it extraordinarily difficult to find safe, suitable homes for everyone.

At present, 86 percent of the population lived in Santa Cruz County at the time they became homeless, and 30 percent are experiencing homelessness for the first time. A new addition to the report includes more detail on where those surveyed sleep, with 35 percent sleeping outside and 27 percent in shelters.

The top causes reported by individuals for homelessness was job loss, at 36 percent, followed by eviction, which affects 29 percent. Additionally, 26 percent of the homeless population are employed, and 45 percent believe that employment assistance is the most effective way to prevent housing loss.

The issue of homelessness is impacting a wide range of populations in our county. Between 2023 and 2024, the percentage of Latinos experiencing homelessness increased to 29 percent, while homelessness among seniors grew by seven percent. These increases are in line with national and statewide trends. Homelessness is also affecting those with physical and mental challenges, with 55 percent of the homeless population reporting a disabling condition and 46 percent having a substance use disorder.

The report also indicates significant decreases in homelessness in the City of Santa Cruz. These decreases were the result of investments and a pro-housing approach to addressing the affordable housing issue. The data showed increases in other jurisdictions, including the unincorporated area.

The Housing for Health Partnership, the County coalition of local jurisdictions and key service providers, remains committed to working collaboratively with community partners to develop sustainable solutions and create healthy living situations for all County residents, including through the Housing for a Health Santa Cruz County plan.

News Release: Preliminary 2024 Point-In-Time Count

Thank You to our 2024 PIT Count Volunteers

Thank you to the 122 community members and stakeholders who volunteered for the Point-in-Time Count on Thursday, Jan. 25. The PIT Count provides critical data used to understand homelessness locally and support strategic decisions about our programs. Your help and support in conducting the PIT Count was very much appreciated.

Point-in-Time (PIT) Counts Reports

Every two years, during the last 10 days of January, communities across the country conduct comprehensive counts of the local homeless populations in order to measure the prevalence of homelessness in each local Continuum of Care.*
* Due to COVID-19, a PIT count was not taken in 2021

Point-in-Time Counts are a measure of the number of homeless people on a specific day. The PIT is considered a "snapshot" of the homeless population. Below are the results for Santa Cruz County.

2023 Point-in-Time Count

2022 Point-in-Time Count

2019 Point-in-Time Count

2017 Point-in-Time Count

2015 Point-in-Time Count

2013 Point-in-Time Count

2011 Point-in-Time Count

Address: 1000 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 |
| Phone: 831-454-7312
| Fax: 831-454-4642