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Report: Oakland Is Home To Over Half Of Alameda County's Rising Homeless Population

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- The numbers are in: 8,022 people in Alameda County are homeless and more than half of them live in Oakland.

EveryOneHome counts performed a point-in-time count in Alameda County in January and preliminary results showed a 43% increase in the number of homeless people living in the county.

The detailed report released Tuesday shows 12 of 14 Alameda County cities saw a jump in homelessness from 2017. Berkeley's homeless count increased from 972 people in 2017 to 1,108 people in 2019.

Oakland went from 2,761 to 4,071. Pleasanton and San Leandro's homeless populations nearly quadrupled.

"These increases are not unique to Oakland, they're throughout this county, they're throughout this state and throughout the entire West Coast," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said.

Mayor Schaaf says more neighboring counties need to see this as "an all hands on deck situation."

"The near death of SB50 was a blow to the critical component to solving this crisis and that is supply," she said.

"I'm glad to see the number is higher because it's reflective of whats actually happening in Oakland and hopefully we can get more funding because of that," said Candice Elder, the Executive Director of East Oakland Collective.

"The city is moving, but at a snails rate and commercial development is happening, but the numbers are low on affordable housing and next to nothing on deeply affordable housing," Elder said.

The survey found 57% of homeless residents in Alameda County also grew up there or have been in the county for more than 10 years. 12% reported moving there within the last year and 40% said they're natives.

3% of homeless individuals surveyed said they're not interested in housing and 55% said they want to see the city build affordable, independent rental housing.

"We are not going to be able to solve this alone, everyone needs to see themselves in this crisis," Schaaf said.

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