The 2017 Homeless Count was conducted on the night of Wednesday, January 24, 2017 and found 575 homeless persons in the City of Pasadena. This year’s count showed a 53% decrease in homelessness since 2011.
Slight Uptick in Long-Term Downward Trend
While homelessness has seen a long-term downward trend, there was a slight uptick in 2017. On the night of the 2017 Homeless Count, 575 people were homeless. That number was 8% higher than in 2016 (n=530). Despite this uptick, there has been a 53% reduction in homelessness from 2011 (n=1,216). Much of the growth was accounted for by an increase in Pasadena’s sheltered population, which grew by 28% or 50 people over 2016. This population includes those in transitional housing, emergency shelters, and receiving motel vouchers. As a result, this growth was likely impacted by the particularly rainy and cold winter in Pasadena. By comparison, the unsheltered count, which includes those most commonly considered homeless (those sleeping outdoors, on the street, in parks or vehicles, etc.), was relatively flat, falling from 352 in 2016 to 347 in 2017.
Reductions in Chronic Homelessness
Despite an overall growth in homelessness, Pasadena saw a 15% reduction in the number of chronically homeless. People experiencing chronic homelessness are one of the most vulnerable homeless populations and exhibit a mortality rate four to nine times higher than the general population. As a result, high public service costs are associated with this population and providing permanent supportive housing saves taxpayers money. In Pasadena the chronically homeless population, which is included in both the sheltered and unsheltered count, comprises roughly a third of the homeless population (33%) and reductions in this population have been relatively minimal over the last five years. This year’s reduction is a promising sign that the homeless response system, which relies on street outreach and permanent supportive housing using a housing first approach, is working. In 2016 alone, 63 chronically homeless individuals were housed.