Today, the Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care (FMCoC) joined the County of Fresno, City of Fresno and Fresno Housing Authority to release the 2020 Point-in-Time Count, the annual count of the region’s sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families. At 3,641, this year’s report represents an increase of 45% or 1,133 homeless individuals in comparison to the 2019 count of 2,508. The FMCoC typically releases the count in June; however, the submittal deadline was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Point-in-Time Count provides an important snapshot of homelessness in our community,” says Laura Moreno, Chair of the Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care. “Through the FMCoC we continue to identify critical needs, seek and implement best practice solutions and, through joint planning with the counties and cities, calibrate our service continuum to provide more safe exits to housing.”
In January volunteers, coordinated by the FMCoC, spent two nights visiting shelters, encampments and other areas throughout the community to speak with individuals, gather information, and take an accurate count of those experiencing homelessness at that point in time. The information gathered is used to inform services needed in the community and help to secure critical funding to implement local programs to address those needs.
“Homelessness affects each of us and highlights the importance of collaborative partnerships community-wide, from county to city to medical to behavioral health services,” says Fresno County District 5 Supervisor Nathan Magsig. “Only together can we find solutions that work for our community and provide the needed help to those experiencing homelessness or on the verge of homelessness. Seeing numbers increase is a concern we all share and a clear sign of the important work still needed in our community, such as stabilizing funding for emergency housing and developing added safe exits to treatment and permanent housing.”
“Homelessness continues to be the most concerning issue in California, where virtually every city is seeing growing numbers, so isn’t surprising to see an increase in our area as well,” says City of Fresno Mayor, Lee Brand. “The numbers tell a clear story: while we’re housing more homeless people than ever before, we have a long way to go and more challenges to meet than ever before and we must make every effort to secure more resources to support our homeless outreach strategies and provide the proper services that people living in our city without shelter deserve.”
For more information and a better understanding of the 2020 Point-In-Time Count, please click here –> 2020 FMCoC PIT Count Context