Home Contra Costa County Data Shows Contra Costa County Sees Increase in Homelessness

Data Shows Contra Costa County Sees Increase in Homelessness

by ECT

In August, the Contra Costa Health Services released its 2022 Homeless Point in Time Count and Survey which showed more than 3,000 people in the county are homeless. Recently, the demographic and geographic information gathered through the 2022 survey has now been released.

According to the data:

  • 2019 – 2,295
  • 2020 – 2,277
  • 2021 – no survey due to COVID
  • 2022 – 3,093

Of the 3,093 homeless, data showed 764 were sheltered with 2,329 unsheltered.  The survey also showed that 21 % are experiencing homelessness for the first time.  Of those, 4% were 17 and younger. 18-24 year old at 18% and 78% were 25+.

Here is a breakdown by City from 2019 vs. 2022

East County

Bay Point5723
Bethel Island10
Discovery BayN/A0


Central County

Pleasant Hill5958
San Ramon127
Walnut Creek9974


West County

El Cerrito831
El Sobrante1613
North Richmond3831
San Pablo5884

Every year, Contra Costa County conducts a comprehensive count of people experiencing homelessness to measure the prevalence of homelessness across the county. This data is important to help identify local needs, determine the best practices for our community, and compare our experiences with other communities in the bay area.

The 2022 Point-in-Time Count was a community-wide effort to identify sheltered and unsheltered people in the county on the night of February 23rd, 2022. In the weeks following the street count, a survey was administered to 326 people experiencing homelessness; the majority of which were unsheltered the night of the count. This data captures the experiences and characteristics of the unsheltered population and supplements the full count data

Length of Time in Contra Costa County

  • < 1 year – 5%
  • 1-4 Years – 13%
  • 5-9 Years – 5%
  • 10 Years + – 77%


  • Under 18 – 4%
  • 18-24 – 7%
  • 25 years + – 89%


  • Male – 57%
  • Female – 42%
  • Transgender/Non-Binary – 1%
  • LGBTQIA+ Status – 5%


  • White – 51%
  • Black – 32%
  • American/Indian/Alaska/Native – 9%
  • LatinX – 24%
  • Non-LatinX – 76

Sleep Setting on The Night of the County

  • 26% – Ten
  • 20% – Emergency Shelter
  • 19% – Outdoor/Streets/Parks
  • 15% – Recreational Vehicle
  • 11% – Car
  • 4% – Van
  • 4% – Transitional Housing
  • 1% – Abandoned Building

The survey showed that 15% of survey respondents have been in the foster care system, 12% were currently employed and 14% said they have spent one or more nights in jail/prison in the past year.

The primary condition that lead to homelessness (limited to top 6 responses) include:

  • 27% – argument with family
  • 23% – eviction/foreclosure
  • 20% – substance abuse
  • 14% – mental health issues
  • 12% – family/domestic violence
  • 12% – divorce/separation

Self Reported Health

  • 60% – psychiatric or emotional condition
  • 56% – alcohol & drug use
  • 46% – PTSD
  • 45% – chronic health problems
  • 43% – physical disability
  • 22% – development disability
  • 21% – traumatic brain injury
  • 9% – HIV/AIDS related illness

Contra Costa Adding Resources to Combat Rise in Homelessness During Pandemic (May 16)

An annual survey of homelessness in Contra Costa County found significantly more residents without housing in 2022 than three years ago, underscoring a severe shortage of affordable housing and the collateral impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the community.

During the three years since its 2019 homeless point-in-time count, Contra Costa Health (CCH) and community partners have added hundreds of shelter beds across the county – a 30% increase – including the 172-room Delta Landing interim housing center in Pittsburg, one of the first projects completed through the state’s Homekey program.

The county’s 2022 point-in-time count, meanwhile, estimates that 3,093 people are staying in shelter beds or living outdoors on an average night in Contra Costa, compared to 2,295 in 2019.

“Contra Costa is using every available resource to address the need for both interim and permanent housing. But the housing crisis has only gotten worse during the pandemic, both here and across the state,” said Karen Mitchoff, chair of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. “We do not need a survey to know that more county residents are living on our streets.”

Renters in Contra Costa needed to earn $37.54 hourly to properly afford the county’s average asking rent of $1,952, according to a May 2021 report from California Housing Partnership, which also estimated an affordable housing shortfall of more than 27,000 units in the county compared to need.

Eviction moratoriums helped some residents remain housed during the pandemic, but COVID-19 disrupted work for many residents. Some with already unstable living situations, such as temporarily sleeping on a friend or relative’s sofa, may have also lost options as households took steps to reduce risk of exposure to the virus.

“The county has worked hard to increase shelter beds and interim housing, providing housing vouchers and other resources to help people who lose their housing get back on their feet,” Supervisor John Gioia said. “What we need – and what we are working hard to bring about – is more permanent housing with supportive services which is priced within the economic reach of ordinary working people.”

While 822 people who used county homeless services in 2021 reported finding permanent housing, 40% of affordable housing vouchers issued to county residents since 2020 have gone unused because their holders could not find housing they could afford even with the voucher, or they could not find a landlord who accepts housing vouchers.

To help bring more affordable housing to Contra Costa, the board established the Local Housing Trust Fund with $10 million from Measure X, the countywide sales tax that began in 2021. Measure X funds will contribute $12 million annually to the fund, administered by county agencies in part to support acquisition, construction, preservation, and rehabilitation of affordable housing in the county.

“The Local Housing Trust Fund is a powerful tool, but only one part of the solution,” Supervisor Diane Burgis said. “Creating more affordable housing to reduce homelessness requires time, funding and a sustained commitment from everyone – state, federal and county government, not to mention cities, voters and landlords.”

Documentation of the county’s increase in homelessness comes by way of the biennial point-in-time count, a requirement of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for jurisdictions receiving funding for homeless services.

Each jurisdiction must conduct a study of community homelessness every two years, though Contra Costa usually performs an annual count. The data inform funding as well as local strategy for reducing homelessness. No counts were held in the Bay Area in 2021 because of the pandemic.

Point-in-time counts provide estimates rather than hard data. For example, surveyors in Contra Costa this year made no direct contact with those surveyed to reduce risk of spreading COVID-19, instead applying multipliers to observed evidence of homelessness.

CCH continues to review demographic and geographic information gathered through the 2022 survey. That information will be released later.

For information about point-in-time data from the Bay Area region, including neighboring counties, visit All Home.


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