Are Sacramento’s Plummeting Homeless Numbers Too Good to Be True?

In case you missed it, we got some fantastic news out of Sacramento this month. The latest Point-In-Time (PIT) survey shows a 29% decrease in overall homelessness in the county since the last count in 2022, with an even bigger drop for the unsheltered. That’s not just good. It’s one of the steepest declines in homelessness seen in the state.

Or is it?

“Sacramento’s largest homeless service provider is questioning a new report that claims Sacramento’s homeless population has drastically decreased in the last two years,” the Sacramento Bee reports.

Nonprofit Loaves & Fishes is calling the report “incredibly hard to believe” since its own data suggests an increase in Sacramento’s unhoused population. 

The PIT data was analyzed by a new company this year, adding to the skepticism. However, the nonprofit that leads the annual count, Sacramento Steps Forward, says it found no problems with the company’s report or methodology. 

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has expressed confidence in the findings, and he’s pleased.

“There are still too many people who are homeless for us to declare victory, but maybe homelessness is not so intractable after all,” Steinberg said in a news release. “The 41% reduction in unsheltered homelessness is dramatic and affirms that the steady course we set seven years ago to address this state and national crisis is working.”