Santa Ana’s homeless population declined by 44%, or 779 people, from 2019 to 2022, according to the County of Orange’s Point in Time Count report released today.
This was the third-largest decrease by percentage among Orange County cities in the homeless count that took place Feb. 21-24, 2022, and by far the single largest drop in the number of unhoused people countywide. The total homeless population in Santa Ana fell from 1,769 to 990, with the number of unsheltered people declining 38.8% to 508, and the number of individuals who were in shelters or transitional housing programs falling 48.67% to 482.
“The results of the County’s homeless count proves that Santa Ana is truly leading the way in tackling this social and public safety issue head-on,” Mayor Vicente Sarmiento said. “I’m happy to see that the new programs we have created, the significant money we have invested, and the hard work of our City staff is paying off. It is my hope that the County and all of our Orange County neighbors will do their part to provide the necessary shelters and services to help us end this complex problem facing all of our communities.”
The City of Santa Ana opened a 200-person shelter in 2018 that is now being replaced with a modern Homeless Navigation Center offering beds and services. It is also home to the County’s regional shelter. The City has created 434 units of supportive housing for formerly unhoused individuals and is issuing over 500 housing vouchers. Last year, the City reached an agreement with Union Pacific for the routine maintenance of the railroad’s right-of-way in Santa Ana.
The City has contracted with nonprofit service provider City Net to provide homeless outreach as part of the Quality of Life Team and this year began a new program to divert non-criminal homelessness-related calls from police officers to City Net, which frees up police resources and will better provide unhoused individuals with the help they need.