Multnomah County recently released the 2015 “Point-in-Time” report: a bi-annual count of homeless men, women and children in Portland/Multnomah County on any given night.
Two changes are from the last report done in 2013 show a slight shift. The first is a drop in homeless individuals in the Portland/Multnomah County area to around 3,800 from around 4,400. The second is an increase in people without a home who are “doubled up” living with someone else. The overall number that includes this group is 16,344, up from 15,917. Because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has changed the definition for what it means to be homeless, this has had an impact on the numbers (Read the entire report from HUD).
The growing populations of “unsheltered” individuals since 2013 includes women, people of color and families. There are estimated to be 374 children who are homeless as well. Anna Griffin of The Oregonian explains the economy’s impact on this problem.
“Although the recession has ended, unemployment remains high among jobs that don’t require much education, and wages for low-skill jobs have actually dropped when adjusted for inflation. At the same time, housing prices have skyrocketed in the Portland market, resulting in a deficit of almost 25,000 affordable units in Multnomah County and as many as 40,000 in the region.”
Not measured in the report are the very prevalent issues related to homelessness like addiction and trauma. Your support of Portland Rescue Mission helps men and women who seek healing from a painful past and desire to walk in freedom. Spiritual growth, life skills training and relational support help launch them into successful new lives.