BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A group released the results of a census of the homeless population in Kern County, showing a general reduction in people having to live on the streets.
The census revealed 1,002 adults and children were living in shelters and on the street. The Kern County Homeless Collaborative organized the point-in-time count in January.
That figure shows a 13 percent decrease in the homeless unsheltered population.
The 24-hour count is a HUD-mandated activity that provides a snapshot of the local state of homelessness in Bakersfield, Delano and all of Kern County and ensures the continued flow of federal dollars into our community to provide for housing and other needs.
As far as accuracy, Hanna says its the best system we have, but won't be completely accurate until every person is counted.
In recent years Kern County has received between $3 million and $5 million annually to help fight homelessness.
Sixty percent of those surveyed stated they had a substance abuse disorder with alcohol and meth rating highest as the drugs of choice. Twenty-three percent stated they have a mental illness.
The highest number of unsheltered homeless by area is as follows: Central Bakersfield 76, Oildale 71, Southeast Bakersfield 57, Delano 37, and Northeast Bakersfield 31.
Veteran homelessness was reduced by 30% in the unsheltered veteran population while the number of sheltered veterans and those in transitional housing programs remained steady.
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