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By Henrietta J. Burroughs                   Follow East Palo Alto Today on
East Palo Alto Today                               Facebook    Twitter       Blog    
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2011      
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A new homeless census and survey report shows that there are now more homeless and unemployed people living in San Mateo County.

The report, which was released on May 12, shows that the number of homeless has increased in the county by 4 %, which means that 85 more people have joined the ranks of those living in the county without permanent shelter. The report also shows that the county's unemployment rate has doubled since 2007.

The report was produced by the HOPE interagency Council, which was
established in 2006 with the vision of ending homelessness and ensuring that safe, accessible, affordable housing is available in San Mateo County for those in greatest need.

In speaking about the report at a press conference held at the San Mateo County Government Center in Redwood City, Carole Groom, who is the board president and co-chair of the HOPE Council, said “It’s heartbreaking to see so many homeless people. Despite the economy and the high unemployment rate, we’ve made great gains to prevent homelessness, but there is more that we must do as a community to end it altogether.”

Groom was joined at the conference by San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley. During his remarks, Horsley said, “In my first month as supervisor, I went out to count the homeless in my district.  It allowed me to gain a better understanding of a constituency that is often hidden from view. With this information, cities, the county and nonprofits will be in a better position to address homelessness.”

Much of the data used in the report was compiled from a tract by tract survey taken by volunteer census workers and it also presented other findings about the homeless and the unemployed including the fact that:

·        88% are English speakers
·        79% have at least one disability or chronic health issue
·        67% are men
·        16% have experienced domestic violence
·        8% of the county’s homeless population consists of families
              with children
·        Most are long-term residents of San Mateo County

To see the complete survey, click http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/portal
/site/humanservices/menuitem.ef2c94fdbdc30bc965d293e5d17332a0/?
vgnextoid=b8c0ac14682b1210VgnVCM1000001d37230aRCRD&vgnextf
mt=DivisionsLanding


To contact Henrietta J. Burroughs, email epatoday@epatoday.org.

 

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