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    Five Recent Trends in Homelessness in California

    The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California Berkeley

    Year: 2023

    California’s homelessness and housing crisis is complex, and the scale of the crisis has continued to grow. Data collected in early 2022 show that homelessness in California grew by six percent since 2020—an increase of almost 10,000 people. This brief analyzes data from the Point-in-Time (PIT) Counts of homelessness to paint a fuller picture of how homelessness has changed across the state in recent years, highlighting five key trends:
    1. California’s homelessness crisis is larger in scale than any other state and continued to worsen during the Covid-19 pandemic.
    2. Stark racial and ethnic disparities in California’s homelessness rates have continued to grow.
    3. Unsheltered homelessness remains more common in California than in any other state, and unsheltered chronic homelessness has increased more rapidly than has homelessness overall.
    4. Some of the largest increases in recent years have been in places that did not previously have high levels of homelessness, including in suburban and rural areas of the state.
    5. The range and scale of efforts to address homelessness have grown over time, including large expansions in shelter and housing capacity.
    These trends suggest that California policymakers will need to expand and sustain support for interventions that prevent people from falling into homelessness and help people experiencing homelessness access stable, supportive housing.

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