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Studies & Publications


Homelessness Expenditure in the San Diego Region

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Published Date

March 26, 2019 at 7:00:00 AM

About this publication

Homelessness impacts the quality of life of all San Diegans, where the County-wide homelessness population exceeded 9,000 people in 2017 on any given night, decreasing only slightly the last year. As the number of individuals experiencing homelessness has grown in the past several years, so have the region’s efforts to address an unprecedented crisis that is exacerbated by a housing shortage. Overall, the past ten years show little real change in homelessness, which takes a toll on a jurisdiction’s economy, the environment, its housing policy, and its health care and criminal justice systems. The purpose of this study is to better inform the public, government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and other funders about trends on homeless-specific funds and their allocations to improve policy and practice.

Key Findings

  1. Inconsistent trends characterize the graphical relationship of total regional homeless individual counts and total homeless-specific regional spending.

  2. Over the last ten years, jurisdictions have increasingly spent more local funds to address homelessness.

  3. Housing Assistance, such as emergency shelter and rent vouchers, has historically constituted the highest homeless-specific expenditure; administrative services and fees are the second highest expenditure.

  4. While the City of San Diego has the highest concentration of homeless individuals, the City of National City and the City of Vista have higher homeless populations per capita.

  5. Excluding the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego, the cities of Carlsbad, Escondido, Chula Vista, and El Cajon have reported the highest spending overall in the region.


San Diego, Homelessness, Statistics, Expenditures, SDTEF

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