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Oklahoma City count finds 20% increase in people experiencing homelessness

A volunteer speaks to a man in a tent during the 2024 OKC count of the homeless population.
Nathan Poppe
/
Curbside Chronicle
Miguel Rios, a staff writer for Curbside Chronicle, conducts the Point in Time Count.

Every year, Oklahoma City officials and nonprofits count people living in shelters, transitional housing and outside on one night in January. The Point in Time count doesn’t include people who are incarcerated, in the emergency room, in hotels or staying with friends or family.

This year, the count rose by 400 people to over 1,800. Count organizers say the increase is not a surprise, and blame low wages and the end of COVID relief programs.

The city and the nonprofits Coordinated Street Outreach and the Homeless Alliance worked together to conduct the count on Jan. 25. The OKC Point in Time 2024 report was released Friday.

Meghan Mueller, CEO of the Homeless Alliance, said she did see at least one bright spot in the data.

“We did see a reduction in chronic unsheltered homelessness, which is encouraging because that's where we focused a lot of resources over the past year,” she said.

Since 2022, Oklahoma City has expanded programs to transition people from living in encampments to permanent housing.


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Cait Kelley is a summer intern at KOSU through the Scripps Howard Fund summer internship program.
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