News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Point-in-Time count of unsheltered shows 15% increase

The Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance has announced the 2022 Point-In-Time Count results for the Marion-Polk region. 

In January this year, volunteers, shelter staff, and outreach workers across the Marion-Polk region connected with 879 unsheltered individuals and 926 temporarily sheltered individuals for a total of 1,805 people. 

This is approximately 15 percent more than the 1,554 people contacted during the 2021 PIT Count.

The federally required PIT Count is a census taken of people who are unsheltered, including those living on the streets, under bridges, and in tents and cars, as well as people who are temporarily staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing. 

While the outcome of the count does not directly affect HUD funding levels, conducting the tally helps ensure communities remain eligible for federal funding for housing and homelessness services.

“A considerable amount of time and effort goes into coordinating the PIT Count each year, but the information gathered is invaluable,” said Robert Marshall, ARCHES Program Manager and co-chair of the Alliance’s 2022 PIT Count Workgroup. 

“This count provides a stage for those experiencing homelessness to share their stories and for volunteers and community members to witness the raw effects that being homeless has on a person. 

“It’s the stories of lived experience that allow us to make informed decisions about our service provisions and keep the flame burning inside the souls of community members to continue advocating for change.”

The data from the PIT Count is one of multiple sources the alliance uses to gather a more complete picture of the homeless crisis and to inform program services. In conjunction with the PIT Count, it uses a Homeless Management Information System to track and gather deeper information on people experiencing homelessness.

“If we limit our understanding of the issue to demographic data, we run the risk of only managing homelessness, not ending it,” said Jan Calvin, consultant for the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance. 

“To end homelessness, we must dig deeper to understand how individuals became homeless and what services will help them.”

The alliance also uses a Coordinated Entry process that begins by assessing an individual’s areas of vulnerability, needs and preferences. To engage more individuals and families in the Coordinated Entry process, the Alliance has increased the locations where people can access the system from two to nine. The data gathered helps with the coordination and management of the homeless response system, so people are connected more efficiently with housing and other services needed to rapidly end their homelessness.

By compiling and reviewing data from various sources, the alliance has a more complete picture of the homeless situation in the region.

Key data for the Marion-Polk Region:

• During the one-day PIT Count, 1,805 people were counted.

• 35 percent were female, 64 percent were male, and 1 percent was transgender, non-singular, questioning (0 unknown/refused to answer).

• 14 percent were Hispanic, and 86 percent were non-Hispanic.

• During 2021-22 (12 months) 1,964 people were newly assessed, meaning these were people who received a first-time assessment of vulnerability and needs.

• 49 percent were female, 48 percent were male, 1 percent were transgender, non-singular, questioning, and 2 percent were unknown/refused to answer.

• 24 percent were Hispanic, 72 percent non-Hispanic, and 4 percent unknown/refused to answer.

• During 2021-22 (12 months) 4,494 people received homeless services.

• 32 percent were female, 43 percent were male, 2 percent were transgender, non-singular, questioning, and 23 percent were unknown/refused to answer.

For information on the alliance, go to

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