Washoe County releases annual Point in Time Count showing overall decrease in homelessness

by | May 17, 2022

Washoe County today released the results of the 2022 Point in Time (PIT) Count, an annual, in-person count of the number of people experiencing homelessness in Washoe County.  

The annual PIT Count provides a detailed one-day “snapshot” of the size and demographics of sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations in communities across the nation. Normally conducted in the last 10 days of January, the count this year was delayed to February 24 due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers in late January and early February.  

“The PIT count wouldn’t be possible without all the volunteers, services providers and law enforcement agencies that showed up this incredibly cold morning to assist,” Northern Nevada Continuum of Care Coordinator Catrina Peters said. “We thank all who supported the effort!”  

The total number of people experiencing homelessness on February 24, 2022, was 1,605, a 10.3% decrease compared to last year’s count of 1,791. The total number includes 417 people who were living unsheltered such as in a tent, in a car, or on the street, a 46.5% decrease from the previous year’s count of 780. Also part of the overall number are the 1188 people living in emergency shelters or transitional housing. This accounts for a 17.5% increase in shelter or transitional housing use over 2021.  

The trends seen are likely due to three main reasons: 

  • The capacity for emergency shelter beds has significantly increased, partly due to an increase capacity at the Nevada Cares Campus from 369 beds to 604 beds. 
  • The PIT Count was conducted on one of the coldest nights of the year when many unsheltered people seek access to emergency shelter. (An additional 52 emergency shelter cots were available at the Nevada Cares Campus during the time of the count.) 
  • In 2021, unsheltered encampments were larger and more established as a result of COVID-related reductions on enforcement activities.  

“Getting people into shelter is the first step to helping our houseless neighbors,” Commissioner Alexis Hill, chair of the Community Homelessness Advisory Board, said. “Over the last year, Washoe County’s commitment to putting the necessary resources into place has shown our dedication to ending homelessness. The additional 21 case managers that we have supported at the Nevada Cares Campus are ready to work with the participants on that next essential step: finding them stable housing and getting them connected to needed resources.” 

 View the PIT Count data here. And learn more about Washoe County’s homelessness services here.