Nearly twice as many people are living in vehicles in Marin County since the last count two years ago, county health officials said.
The count found 486 people living in 381 cars and recreational vehicles, an increase of 91% since the 2019 tally, reversing a decrease seen between 2017 and 2019.
The county conducted the count—performed each January in odd-numbered years—a bit differently this year to protect workers conducting the count during the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s count was of cars, rather than people.
Outreach teams and police patrols conducted a visual, no-contact count on one night using a process that kept vehicles from being counted twice. For vehicles where the number of people inside wasn’t evident, a multiplier based on average vehicle occupancy was used.
County officials do not believe that the vehicle count represents a doubling of the homeless population in Marin County, and note that the rate of housing placements in the county system has increased 46% since the pandemic began.
The report is available here.