Friday, May 31, 2013

Pacifica Homelessness Soars

PRC's Homeless in Pacifica? Study Addresses 900% Increase in Homelessness in Pacifica.

 On Thursday, May 30, the Pacifica Resource Center (PRC) released a report, ”Homeless in Pacifica? Understanding the Escalating Situation & Creating a Community Response,” written by PRC Executive Director, Anita Rees, and Professor Sheila Katz of Sonoma State University’s Sociology Department. A downloadable copy of the report can be found here.

This policy report brings attention to the escalating number of homeless people in the city of Pacifica. “Despite the beautiful beaches, quaint town feel, open spaces, ocean views, and beachfront property, homelessness in the city of Pacifica has increased 900% in the last 6 years,” explains Rees. “Life is not a beach for unhoused Pacificans.”


Submitted by Lionel Emde


Anonymous said...

I question the accuracy of a 900% increase. Is it possible we were missing most people before?

We must help those who want help. But I see many in SF that are homeless by choice. Many are mentally ill and addicted to drugs and pose a danger to the public. Any of these people should be shown that Pacifica is not a place that puts up with illegal behavior otherwise that number may be 1800% soon.

Anonymous said...

Three possible suggestions:

A).Build apts. for the homeless on top of the proposed sewer overflow "pond."

B) Convert the projected defunct Fresh & Easy to a homeless shelter.

C). Set up temporary housing for the homeless on that vacant 5 acre parcel on Pedro Point.

Hmm; Pedro Point? maybe I'll give up my house and live in that field too. I can then try that surfboarding thing that seems so popular around there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the Democratically controlled cities and state for increasing homelessness.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you're welcome, but we can't possibly claim all the credit. It really was a bi-partisan effort with a big boost from those who profited from financial industry de-regulation and lack of oversight, rapacious lenders and their diverse business partners, greedy investment banks, naïve consumers, so very many people to thank, really.

Anonymous said...

Boy , aren't you a brainwashed good little commie.

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous 8:00 AM, I agree with those who understand we should be advanced enough as a human civilization to not have homelessness people hungry and living on the streets in America. Does that make me a "good little commie" too, or is that evolved viewpoint adherent to the religious and fair minded teachings most of us grew up with?

The big corporations control the wealth, and you see how well that's working out.

Anonymous said...

@Kathy@8:40 a.m.

Actually it's working out for all those people who continually pat themselves on the back because they bought a bunch of stock and are reaping the financial gains. I had a recent discussion with a neighbor who still thinks that "outsourcing" jobs is a good idea because his stock has gone through the roof. I countered with "yea, but what about all the factory and manufacturing jobs that have been lost in America?" He snorted, "so what, my kids will never work in a factory!" He's probably right and while a lot of people's kids around here won't work in factories, there are likely a lot of other people in America who would be grateful to have a factory job. But I guess the most important issue is to ensure that my neighbor and his ilk continue to see their wealth increase. The heck with everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Politics and compassion don't mix. How great could this country become if we ever understood that? Without firing a shot.

Anonymous said...

@800 hey, your brain could do with a good wash. it won't take long and you'll be amazed at how much more you understand.

James M. Goodell said...

Thank you for researching this report but please note that to calculate an increase or decrease over time, subtract the old figure from the new figure to derive the absolute change, then divide this number by the old figure and multiply by 100 to express the increase (a positive number) or decrease (a negative number) from the old value as a percentage.

For example: in your report (below), the 16 homeless people counted in 2009 should be subtracted from the 95 counted in 2011 to give the absolute increase of 79 homeless people, which is divided by the old value of 16 to give 4.94, which is multiplied by 100 to indicate the correct increase of 494%, not 600% as reported.

Similarly, the 95 homeless in 2011 should be subtracted from the 150 reported in 2013 to indicate an increase of 55 homeless, which is divided by the old homeless figure of 95 to give 0.58, an increase of more than one-half, not one-third as indicated in your report.

To calculate the overall increase, subtract the 7 homeless counted in 2007 from the 150 reported in 2013 to get the increase of 143 homeless. Divide 143 by 7 to get 20.43 and multiply by 100 to get 2043%, the (algebraically correct) increase in homelessness, not the 900% indicated in the report.

Your report:
Every two years in late January, advocates, homeless guides,
and community members gather before dawn to walk the city
street by street and count the homeless population. This
point-in-time count of homeless people is a national effort
required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development to receive federal funding to prevent and reduce
homelessness. In 2007, only seven homeless individuals were
counted in Pacifica. The number of homeless in Pacifica more
than doubled by 2009 to sixteen, and then rose by over 600% two years later in 2011 to 95. In 2013, the number of
homeless increased again by over a third to 150. This is an over 900% increase since 2007."

A good reference for all kinds of calculations is The Economist Numbers Guide, published by The Economist magazine.

It is unfortunate that the media republished this report without questioning these calculations nor the methodology of enumeration. Thank you for your attention.


–James M. Goodell

P.S., A shortcut to making these calculations is to divide the new number by the old number and subtract one, but this algebraic simplification obscures the logic.