Washoe County releases results of annual point-in-time count

by | Apr 18, 2023

Washoe County today released the results of the January 26, 2023, Point in Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count is an annual, in-person count of the number of people experiencing homelessness in Washoe County. 

Conducted each year, the PIT Count provides a detailed one-day “snapshot” of the size and demographics of sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations in communities across the nation. The count is conducted according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidance and begins at 4 a.m. on the day of the count. Normally conducted in the last 10 days of January, the count this year was conducted statewide on January 26. 

 “The PIT count wouldn’t be possible without all the volunteers, services providers and law enforcement agencies that showed up at 4 a.m. on a cold winter morning,” Catrina Peters, the Northern Nevada Continuum of Care coordinator, said. “Thank you to all who supported the effort.”  

The total number of people experiencing homelessness was 1,690, a slight increase compared to last year’s count of 1,605 due to an increase in the number of people in emergency shelter. The total number includes 329 people who were living unsheltered such as in a tent or car on the on street, a 21 percent decrease from the previous year’s count of 417. There were 1,361 people living in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs, a 14.5 percent increase from 1,188 in 2022.  

Overall, the number of people counted living unsheltered decreased, while the number of people in emergency shelter increased slightly. Decreases in the unsheltered count are likely due to improved coordinated outreach of providers and appropriate emergency shelter bed capacity. The increase in the number of people counted in emergency shelter beds is due in part to an increase in programs reporting into the countywide homeless database, such as Men’s and Women’s Crossroads. 

The trends seen are likely due to three main reasons: 

  1. Coordination amongst street outreach providers to get people who are unsheltered into emergency shelter or housing has continued to improve. 
  1. Emergency shelter bed availability results in decreased unsheltered homelessness numbers.  
  1. A significant number of people who were staying in emergency shelter have been housed; 336 people have been exited form the Cares Campus to permanent housing since April 1, 2022.  

“Getting people into shelter is a critical step to helping our houseless neighbors.” County Commission Chair Alexis Hill, chair of the Community Homelessness Advisory Board, said. “Over the last two years, Washoe County’s continued commitment to putting the necessary resources into place has shown our dedication to ending homelessness. Adding services and maintain appropriate staffing levels at the Nevada Cares Campus will continue this progress to get people experiencing homelessness stably housed.”