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Released by: Board of Supervisors
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Homeless Count Results Show Reduction in Homelessness

Santa Rosa, CA  –  May 9, 2017  –  Preliminary results of the 2017 Homeless Count reveal homelessness is gradually decreasing in Sonoma County. On January 27, 2017, over 150 volunteers and homeless guides canvassed all of the County’s census tracks and counted 2,835 people who were either unsheltered, in shelters, or in transitional housing. Homelessness has declined in each of the four counts since 2011, with this year’s number showing a decrease of 2% from the 2016 Homeless Count, and an 8% reduction from 2015.

“While our goal is to end homelessness outright, we are encouraged to see the numbers continue to drop,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Shirlee Zane. “It is unacceptable that on any given night, more than 5 out of every 1,000 residents in Sonoma County is homeless. We stand committed with our community and local government partners to provide the services necessary until all individuals and families in Sonoma County have permanent and stable housing.”

Signs of progress in the recent Homeless Count include the following:

  • The number of homeless families decreased 16% in the last year.  326 people were in families with children; they made up 11% of all people counted.  The Coordinated Entry Pilot helped achieve this drop by quickly housing homeless families with children.
  • The number of chronically homeless persons is down 20% from last year. 598 chronically homeless people were found.  These are people with disabilities who have experienced homelessness for a year or more. 
  • The number of homeless veterans is also down 23% since last year, to 211 veterans.  The opening of the Palms Inn helped to achieve this decrease.
  • The number of homeless youth is also down 20% from a year ago, from 663 to 532. These include both youth ages 18-24 and unaccompanied teens under 18.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development require a Homeless Count to make local agencies eligible to access $3 million in federal grants annually. The 2017 study utilized a nationally approved methodology that has been used since 2009, and offers superior accuracy and qualitative information. The effort included surveys that will offer extensive information about the homeless population in the full Homeless Count report, to be released to the public in July. 

For more information, please contact Michael Gause, Continuum of Care Coordinator, at (707) 565-1977 or .


Contact Information

County Administrator's Office
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive
Room 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464626, -122.725441