New survey shows fewer El Paso County residents experiencing homelessness

Colorado Springs in El Paso County.

The number of people experiencing homelessness in El Paso County went down this year, according to the latest annual report.

A survey conducted by the Pikes Peak Continuum of Care in January shows about 1,302 people were unhoused. That’s down by 104 people compared to last year and the lowest number since 2016. The majority of the people experiencing homelessness were staying at emergency shelters or in transitional housing, the report said. 

The number of reported unsheltered people is higher than last year though. The agency attributes that to more thorough survey methods. Meanwhile, a record-high 740 people who were formerly homeless now have permanent housing. Additionally, the number of unhoused military veterans was down. 

When compared to the county's demographic data, the numbers of Indigenous, Black and Hispanic or Latinx people experiencing homelessness is disproportionately higher than other groups. 

Indigenous people made up about 5 percent even though the Census reports only 1.4 percent of the county is American Indian, Alaska Native or Indigenous. Black and Latinx families accounted for a quarter and a third of unhoused families respectively, despite making up only 6.9 percent and 18.4 percent of the El Paso County population.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all Continuum of Care organizations conduct what’s known as the “Point in Time” survey annually to report these numbers.