On the streets

Homeless figures are up this year, according to annual census

The local homeless population is up from last year, according to the Butte Countywide Homeless Continuum of Care.

Volunteers who conducted the annual Point-In-Time Homeless Census found 1,138 homeless people, who filled out surveys indicating that 1,422 people were experiencing homelessness at the time of the one-day effort on Jan. 27.

The figure represents a 3 percent increase from last year’s findings. However, organizers think that wet and stormy weather leading up to the effort skewed the resulting number of responses. They say there likely are an additional 541 homeless folks in the region.

Among some of the more interesting findings, the census found that 51 percent of those surveyed reported “no job or income” as a reason for their homelessness; nearly 60 percent have lived here for at least five years; and 28 percent live outdoors. The annual census helps the county receive federal homeless-assistance funds.