Volunteers counted 239 people living on the streets in Palm Springs during the annual Point-in-Time Count in January 2023. Riverside County officials reported the results in early May, and they showed the homeless population in Palm Springs was second-largest in the county after the city of Riverside, which counted 605. Below are the numbers for the Coachella Valley and points east.
Some media reports focused on the year-over-year increase in homelessness, up 8% in Palm Springs and 23% countywide. (Desert Sun, KESQ) Such comparisons may be misleading because heavy rain the night before the 2022 count hampered volunteers being able to find unsheltered people. The number of unsheltered people also varies with economic conditions and the ebb and flow of government funding of shelter programs. The federally mandated Point in Time snapshot survey is imperfect because it relies on volunteers of varying experience who are discouraged from going anywhere potentially dangerous. So, we are convinced the numbers are an undercount, but they affect federal funding and offer important insights such as this: 21% of unsheltered people counted in our county were new to homelessness.
Here is a link to the full county infographic.