Monterey County homeless population on the rise

Homeless study finds increase in...

DEL REY OAKS, Calif. - UPDATED 6/23/2017 5:00 p.m.: New numbers are showing a big jump in the number of homeless living in Monterey County.

The results come from a county census taken back in January. It's set to be officially released in just days.

Though some towns saw a drop in their homeless population, others saw a noticeable increase.

A census like this is required every two years. The county saw a 23 percent increase since the last report, marking the largest jump in more than a decade.

Collecting data was a community-wide effort that took place in early 2017.

KION was there as volunteers counted the number of people living in cars, tents and shelters.

Fast forward nearly six months, and the results of those efforts are in.

Five cities saw a significant change over the last two years. Seaside and Sand City saw a change for the better.

Numbers in Salinas, Marina and Del Rey Oaks grew.

The mayor of Del Rey Oaks says those numbers may not be what they appear.

"Del Rey Oaks does not have a permanent homeless population, the population we get are usually spill-overs from the other cities," says the town's mayor Jerry Edelen. "When the other cities, especially Seaside makes a sweep to clean-up their homeless encampments a lot of the homeless will come to Del Rey Oaks since they can't go back to Seaside, once the police in Seaside clear out then they go back to Seaside."

Still the Mayor says Monterey County cities as a whole can work together to address the issue of homelessness.

"We need to come up with a consorted effort I believe, of all of the cities and the county to find a way to encourage the homeless not to be homeless," Edelen said.

The Monterey County Department of Social Services and Department of Health will present the report to county supervisors on Tuesday.

We reached out to a representative who says they are waiting to comment until the county has change to hear the results.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Monterey County homeless population has grown by 23 percent from 2015 to 2017.

While some cities have seen a decrease in the number of homeless residents the numbers of those that increased are significant.

Del Rey Oaks saw a 102 percent increase but the town's mayor says the numbers aren't what you think.

KION's Zach Fuentes will have more on how Del Rey Oaks plans to deal with the issue of homelessness tonight at 5 p.m. 


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