An Update on Homelessness in Marin

Homelessness in Marin

This past February we published a story about the state of homelessness in Marin County titled “Homelessness in Marin” that centered on the many obstacles that keep homeless residents from being properly housed or living healthy, productive lives. The biennial Point-In-Time Count, which attempts to account for all the homeless individuals nationwide, was underway during this time as well, and now the results — some good news, some bad — are in. The good news first. Overall, homelessness is down in Marin, from 1,309 people in 2015 to 1,117 in 2017. However, chronic homelessness is up, now approximately 32 percent, up from 20 percent. The chronically homeless are largely the public face of homelessness in Marin; unsurprisingly, almost all such people are unsheltered, and about 70 percent have some type of psychiatric challenge. Fortunately, in anticipation of this continued challenge, the City of San Rafael, the County of Marin and the service providers have been pivoting to a new strategy to end chronic homelessness, one that includes determining who is most vulnerable, placing those people in permanent supportive housing and tracking outcomes in order to fine-tune the system. Another illuminating finding from the count is that the vast majority of Marin’s homeless population lives in vehicles, not on streets. To learn more details about this year’s count, visit