Number of people who are homeless declines

Every two years San Benito County counts the number of county residents who are homeless for any reason.

From 2017 to 2019 the number of people who are homeless in the county has declined by 244 people, from 527 people to 283 people, according to the latest “homeless census.” A majority of people who are homeless are over the age of 25, a reported 84 percent, according to Deputy Director of Community Service and Workforce Development Enrique Arreola.

The number of unsheltered people who are homeless in the county (which includes the city of Hollister) has also dropped, from 77 percent in 2017 to 60 percent in 2019. 

A number of respondents said they spent the night in emergency shelters, tents and outdoor streets or parks. A smaller number of people slept in motels or hotels, vehicles and encampments.

The male to female ratio of people that are homeless is relatively close, according to the census. 52 percent of people who are homeless in San Benito County are male and 47 percent are female. 

The survey reported that 32 percent of respondents reported suffering from depression, 17 percent said they suffered from other psychiatric or emotional conditions, 15 percent reported drug or alcohol use, 10 percent said they suffered from post traumatic stress, 14 percent had chronic health problems and 16 percent reported being physically disabled.

Half of people who are homeless in San Benito County have been homeless for more than a year.

The number of people who are homeless and accessing government benefits rose from the 2017 to 2019 census, from 68 percent to 79 percent.

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