Portland’s Homelessness Demographics

Portland has been collecting data and issuing reports about homelessness for many years. The numbers bounced up and down mostly because of the definition of what “homeless” means (does it mean someone checked into a public shelter or living in a tent, or living in a family garage?), the collection methods, the survey budget, and perhaps the competency of the data collectors. Regardless – there is no evidence to show Portland has a handle on homelessness.

(We don’t have any faith at all the collectors of this data know how to collect the information completely or even if they bother. But it’s what they have and what they present as actual information.)

Homeless ‘Census’ Tallies 1,000 – 1989. Multnomah County portion of Oregon Shelter Network’s phone-survey of area church and public agency shelters – 743 individuals.

Study Finds Homeless Rolls Rising – 1989. About seeking emergency shelter 1,200 each night.

US Census “Shelter Night” – 1990 re: Census Workers to Count Homeless, March 1990. No figure “number of homeless” for Portland was listed in the newspaper.

One-night Survey Fines 3,200 People Homeless – December 1990 – 2,668 adult individuals.

US Census “Emergency or Transitional Shelters, 2000 – 2,124 individuals

Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness – December 2004. Lists 2,524 people sought shelter March 2004.

Report on the 2007 Street Count. 2,355 for 2005, 1,438 for 2007.

2009 Portland OR Street Count Report1,591 individuals.

2011_Point-in-Time_Homelessness_Multnomah-County2,727 “literally homeless” individuals.

2013 Point in Time Count Report of Homelessness in Multnomah County2,361 “literally homeless” individuals.

2015 Point in Time Count Report of Homelessness in Multnomah County – DRAFT2,759 “unsheltered” and “living in emergency shelters”