Chronic homelessness rises in Marin County according to survey

SAN RAFAEL (BCN)-- Homelessness is down overall in Marin County but chronic homelessness is up, according to the results of a Point-in-Time count in January.

The report by the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services shows the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless in people decreased from 1,309 in 2015 to 1,117 on Jan. 27 this year. Thirty-seven
percent were sheltered and 63 percent were not.

The numbers include incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county, anchor-outs in Richardson Bay and those rotating shelter.

Thirty-two percent, or 329 people, were chronically homeless in 2017 compared to 20 percent in 2015, and almost all of them are unsheltered. Seventy percent of the chronically homeless have a psychiatric or emotional
challenge, according to the report.

The most common sleeping place is in vehicles. Ninety-four homeless people were veterans, and 71 percent of them were unsheltered. Sixty-seven families with 170 members were sheltered and eight families with
30 members were unsheltered.

Seventy-one percent lived in Marin County before they became homeless, and 53 percent lived in Marin County 10 or more years before becoming homeless.

About two-thirds of the homeless people in 2017 said rental assistance or more affordable housing is needed to obtain housing.

The median price of a single-family home in Marin County was $1.25 million, and the median price of all homes, including new, re-sales and condos, was $1.32 million in May 2017 - nearly 17 percent higher than 2016's
figures, according to CoreLogic, a real estate research firm based in Irvine.

The average rent of an apartment in Marin County is currently $2,640, according to a survey by of 5,800 apartments within 42 different large complexes. The current vacancy rate is 2.9 percent.