BEND, OR -- In January, the state conducted a one-day homeless count to found out how many Oregonians are without permanent housing. Local numbers were released in May, but the statewide stats just came out this week. Kati McDonald with NeighborImpact says, despite an improving economy, lack of affordable housing is leading to an increase in homelessness. "2013 versus 2015, we have more than in 2013. Our chronically homeless folks - those experiencing homelessness longer who have a disability, are actually up."
She tells KBND the local numbers are higher than what the state shows, because Central Oregon statistics include those who are living in motels or staying with friends or family. The statewide report only counts those living outside, in cars or in emergency homeless shelters. "They are reporting there were 503 homeless individuals in Deschutes County, and we reported 1624."