State of Homelessness


The number of people experiencing homelessness in America decreased by 2.0 percent from 2014 to 2015, but trends varied among states: 33 states and D.C. reported decreases in overall homelessness, while 16 states reported increases.

States with decreases in homelessness were concentrated in the South and Midwest with many states in those regions seeing significant decreases in homelessness. Additionally, large decreases were seen in three large and populous states that are among the states with the most people experiencing homelessness: Florida (5,642 people fewer), Texas (4,817 fewer people), and Georgia (2,731 fewer people).

Increases in homelessness were concentrated in the West and Northeast and the two states with the largest homeless populations: New York (7,660 more people) and California (1,786 more people).

Project WeHOPE serves both San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, providing homeless services through its Supportive Housing/Emergency Shelter Program and Dignity on Wheels. The statistics below reflect homeless statistics within both counties.

2015 San Mateo County Homeless Count
1. Number of Homeless People
The 2015 Census determined that there were 1,772 homeless people in San Mateo County on
the night of January 22, 2015 comprised of:
• 775 unsheltered homeless people (living on streets, in vehicles, in homeless
encampments) and,
• 997 sheltered homeless people (in emergency shelters, transitional housing, motel
voucher programs, residential treatment, jails, and hospitals).

2. Number of Homeless Households
The 1,772 homeless people counted comprised 1,387 households as follows:
• 1,240 “adults only” households, i.e. without dependent children (89%);
• 147 family” households, i.e., with dependent children (11%)

2015 Santa Clara County Homeless Count

A total of 6,556 individuals were counted in Santa Clara County on January 27 and 28, a decrease of 1,075 (-14%) people from 2013. While the number of individuals served by county shelters decreased slightly between 2013 and 2015, the number of unsheltered individuals showed the greatest decrease (1,047). Seventy-one percent of the population was unsheltered, living on the street, in parks, encampments, vehicles, or other places not meant for human habitation.

Persons in families represented 14% of the overall homeless population in 2015, similar to previous years. Ninety-three percent of those families were counted in county shelters. Sixty-three individuals in families, 7% of those in families, were unsheltered. Unsheltered family members included 35 children under the age of 18.2

The majority of people counted in the 2015 Santa Clara County Homeless Census were single individuals over the age of 25 years (73%). Thirteen percent of the population were unaccompanied children and transition-age youth under the age of 25, these are children and youth living on their own without the presence of a parent or adult family member.