Correction Issued May 15, 2023: The original report released on May 12, 2023 included an error in the number of persons experiencing homelessness who were sheltered on the night of the 2020 point in time count. This error was located in the data chart on page 10 of the report and has been corrected. Please download the corrected report using the link above.
The Annual Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) count, designed to provide a snapshot of households experiencing homelessness on a single night, was conducted in Pima County on January 24, 2023. This survey was supported by the efforts of more than 200 community volunteers, government agencies, and partnering non-profit staff. The 2023 count identified 2,209 people in 1,666 households residing in shelter, transitional housing, or living without shelter in Pima County the night of January 23, 2023.
In 2023, the total PIT count was up sixty percent from 2018, which represents an increase of 829 people over five years. For the first time since 2019, the 2023 count of persons in temporary shelter locations increased by twenty-two percent, totaling 708 persons, and the unsheltered count decreased by nine percent, totaling 1,501 persons (148 fewer unsheltered persons than in 2022). An additional 2,017 persons were residing in longer-term housing programs for persons experiencing homelessness on the night of the count.
Rates of homelessness decreased in 2023 among many vulnerable populations. Youth households saw the greatest decrease in homelessness with 163 youth under the age of 25 experiencing homelessness on the night of January 24, 2023, down thirty-nine percent from 2022 and down six percent from 2018. Veteran homelessness decreased by fourteen percent from 2022 and is down four percent from 2018. Although overall veteran homelessness has decreased, the number of veterans who were unsheltered on the night of the count remains forty-seven percent higher than in 2018.
Although positive trends have been seen among many populations, rates of homelessness among single adults increased for the fifth consecutive year with a total of 1,413 unsheltered single adults identified in the 2023 count. The number of chronically homeless persons has more than doubled since 2018 and seventy-seven percent of chronically homeless persons were unsheltered on the night of the 2023 count.
Overall, the 2023 PIT data reflects the growing number of people experiencing homelessness in Pima County since 2018 and offers initial indication that current efforts are beginning to reduce overall homelessness in the region after a period of rapid growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented strain on our homelessness response system. Although we have a long way to go, the positive momentum over the past 12 months highlights the importance of continued community collaboration and innovation to address the crisis of unsheltered homelessness facing our region,” said TPCH Board Chairperson, Jocelyn Muzzin.
The Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness and its member agencies continue to work to prevent and end homelessness in Tucson and Pima County through a variety of strategies which include:
- Coordinating street outreach and engagement services to promote service and shelter participation among unsheltered persons.
- Increasing the number of low-barrier, emergency shelter beds for persons experiencing homelessness.
- Diversion and housing navigation assistance aimed at providing rapid solutions to housing crises without the need for longer-term housing interventions.
- Expanding available transitional and permanent housing programs.
- Improving coordination between justice, behavioral health, social service, and mainstream housing resources.
The PIT count, which is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is used in program planning across shelter, housing, and supportive services. The count includes individuals and families residing in emergency shelter or transitional housing, as well as people living without shelter.
While an imperfect measure, the annual count is an important tool used to inform priorities for federal, state, and local funding. It also helps identify trends and craft solutions for the needs of vulnerable individuals and families. The analysis and overall trend data are utilized by the Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness as one of many tools to track progress toward goals to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness. Additional information about this year’s count and historical Tucson/Pima County PIT data can be explored at https://tpch.net/data/hic-pit/.