Who is Homeless in Our Area

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Current local status

Data shows Oregon's homeless population is rising faster than other States. Oregon is the seventh leading state contributing to the overall homeless population, sitting in order behind Massachusetts, Washington, Texas, Florida, New York, and California.

As we examine State level data, it is no surprise, that our local numbers are also climbing. 2020 Coordinated Entry data shows:

  • 1,188 homeless people in Marion and Polk Counties. 
  • 579 of those people are considered chronically homeless. 
  • 815 are single
  • 120 report as part of a homeless family

According to the October 2020 Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance Report:

  • 20 percent of Marion and Polk's  homeless community are under the age of 24
  • 10 percent of our regional  homeless population identify as veterans. 

Salem-Keizer School District reports a total of 1,118 school age children in unstable housing such as, living in a shelter, doubling up with family or friends, living on the streets, or staying in a motel/hotel. 

Why are people homeless?

The leading causes of homelessness according to the National Center on Homelessness and Poverty are:

  • insufficient income
  • poverty
  • lack of affordable housing
  • mental illness
  • substance abuse
  • foreclosures
  • domestic violence.

It is important to remember that homelessness affects our community at all levels including our youth, families, people fleeing unsafe living situations, and most recently, people displaced by wildfires or other natural disasters. 

City efforts to address homelessness

​In addition to our collaborative long-term planning, the City  is involved in several programs to help mitigate the homeless crisis.

You can also track the progress of the City's progress.

Contact us

City Manager's Office
555 Liberty St SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301
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