San Mateo County reports sharp decline in homeless population 

Nearly 50 percent fewer people live on the streets of San Mateo County than two years ago, according to preliminary data from the county released recently.

Early figures from the county’s Homeless Census, conducted every two years, point to a 47 percent reduction in the number of unsheltered individuals and families living on the Peninsula compared to the last census taken in 2013.

About 200 volunteers who scoured the streets of San Mateo County on Jan. 22 to conduct the biannual census counted 689 homeless individuals living on streets, in vehicles or in homeless encampments, compared to 1,299 unsheltered residents in 2013, according to the Human Services Agency.

Additionally, 915 homeless residents living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, motels and other institutions were counted, compared to 982 in 2013.

“This is great news for San Mateo County, and evidence that our community’s collective efforts are working,” Human Services Agency Director Iliana Rodriguez said in a statement.

County officials credit the drop in homeless residents with increased funding in recent years toward emergency shelter beds, as well as for more Homeless Outreach Teams that connect with residents living on the streets daily and encourage them to seek shelter.

Final numbers were will available by May. — Staff report

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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