Every couple of years Nevada County officials try to get an accurate picture of how many homeless people are living in Nevada County and according to Nevada County Health and Human Services Director Michael Heggarty, the count will be coming up soon.
click to listen to Michael Heggarty
They’ve been counting since 2009 with a high of 345 homeless individuals identified. The lowest count so far was in 2011 with 190 people. Heggarty says the most recent count was 2015 and they counted 279 people that were in both emergency shelters and un-sheltered, living on the streets. When they asked how long the homeless have been in Nevada County, they got some surprising results.
Heggarty says there are a lot of specific variables about why people become homeless but the data they have shows a majority of the homeless people in Nevada County have lived here , they have family here, they went to school here , and the last time they worked, they worked here, rather than being transients. One of the biggest factors for people becoming homeless is that they can’t find affordable housing. The 2017 homeless count will be conducted on January 24th and they are still in need of volunteers.