PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new Portland State University study says an estimated 38,000 people in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties experienced homelessness at some point in 2017.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the first-of-its-kind study takes a regional and more expansive view of homelessness than the single-night tallies required by the federal government, which each county conducts separately.
The counties, in their canvasses of shelters, camps and vehicles, found a combined 5,700 people without permanent housing.
The Portland State study uses those counts as a starting point. But it also attempts to account for people who experience homelessness off and on, as well as families who double-up with friends or family because of economic hardship, using data from public school districts.
This study's resulting 38,000 figure could provide policymakers another lens through which to examine their efforts to address homelessness.