The number of homeless people in the San Diego County region has dropped but city and county officials say there is more work to be done to provide services and housing for those people living on the streets.
Officials released the results of the 2018 Point in Time Count of Homelessness in San Diego County.
Once a year, volunteers join healthcare and municipal employees in a survey of the region's homeless population.
This year's count took place on Friday, January 26.
County Supervisor Ron Roberts said the total count of homeless individuals - sheltered and unsheltered - was 8,576 people.
He said that represents a 6 percent drop from the 2017 total.
“This is a success. Good positive momentum but it is not 'Mission Accomplished,'” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
He pointed out that providing homes that people can afford remains a problem for the region.
The number of unsheltered homeless individuals in San Diego County was 4,990 in January 2018. That's an 11.2 percent decrease from the 5,621 counted in 2017, according to the survey. Those people living in shelters was 3,596 or a 2.8 percent increase from the 3,495 counted in 2017.
The full report will be presented at 3 p.m. during a meeting of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.
Questions asked of those living on the streets help to develop better services, organizers said.
In 2017, it was estimated there were 5,621 unsheltered homeless people in the county and 3.495 sheltered homeless people.
The total number of homeless in 2017 was up 5 percent from the previous year.
Members of the homeless population who were moved into temporary housing last year are being matched to housing resources, said Councilmember Chris Ward, District 3. Ward serves as vice chairman for the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.
Ward said he wanted to launch a pilot program matching people in temporary housing with job skills training and placement.
A program offering city-subsidized funds to fill gaps in rental payments or transportation would get his support.