An overhead shot of San Luis Obispo, California.
An overhead shot of San Luis Obispo, California.

Point-in-Time Count Data Shows an Encouraging Trend in Addressing Local Homelessness

Author: Homeless Services Division
Date: 5/6/2024 11:30 AM

In January 2024, the Point-in-Time (PIT) Count in San Luis Obispo County identified 1,171 individuals experiencing homelessness. The 2024 PIT Count used a new survey methodology that increased the reliability of the data collected. A full community report is forthcoming pending data verification by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

San Luis Obispo, CA—On January 22, 2024, there were 1,171 individuals identified experiencing homelessness in San Luis Obispo County.

The Point-in-Time (PIT) Count was conducted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 through Wednesday January 31, 2024 and included more than 250 volunteers deploying from seven logistic centers countywide. The PIT Count represents a collaborative effort involving dedicated volunteers, government agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals experiencing homelessness who came together to conduct an assessment of homelessness in our community on a single night. Through their efforts, valuable data was gathered that will assist the county and community in understanding the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness.

A full community report will be released in the coming weeks, however, the County of San Luis Obispo is pleased to present preliminary data*.




*Data is still being verified by the US Dept of Housing and Urban Development and is subject to change.




One of the highlights of the 2024 PIT Count was the change in methodology which focused on improving the accuracy of collected data. The previous 2022 Point-In-Time Count was conducted using a sample survey methodology. In a sample survey, only a subset of the population is surveyed and that sample is used to represent the entire population under study.  In the 2024 Point-in-Time Count, a full census was completed with a focus on completing surveys with as many individuals as possible. This preferred methodology increased the reliability of the data collected. With this change, the number of individuals surveyed increased from 29% in 2022 to 64% in 2024. Surveys are only completed on unsheltered individuals. In 2024, 797 individuals were identified as experiencing unsheltered homelessness of which 510 were surveyed.

Of the individuals surveyed, the County learned the following:

  • 88% have lived in San Luis Obispo County for at least 1 year or longer.
  • 42% have experienced unsheltered homelessness for 5 years or longer and 38% have experienced unsheltered homelessness for between 1 to 5 years.
  • 97% are an “Adults Only (no children)” household.
  • 72% identify as male.
  • 68% identify racially as white.

The community report will cover more in-depth information about the Point-in-Time Count and is expected to be released later this spring once the data has completed the verification process with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Point-in-Time Count shows an encouraging trend based on data captured on a single night. The overall picture of homelessness in any community is informed by both the information learned during a PIT count and a balanced review of data contained within the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). The County of San Luis Obispo migrated to a new HMIS database on March 4, 2024, and the Homeless Services Division continues to develop additional community reporting mechanisms that include a comprehensive overview of homelessness in the area.

For more information or to see prior Point-in-Time Count reports, visit