were sheltered, the highest share in the last 10 years
were last housed in Pasadena for an average of 21 years
310 unhoused Pasadenans were permanently housed in 2023
Disparities remain for unhoused Black people
Homelessness exposes deep-rooted systemic racism and persistent inequities. In Pasadena, 30% of our unhoused residents identify as Black or African American despite only representing 8% of Pasadena’s general population.The intersectionality of race and homelessness extends beyond the influence of poverty, as only 10% of people living in poverty in Pasadena identify as Black. Inequities persist across nearly all subpopulations, Black seniors and veterans have some of the greatest disparities, with Black people comprising 41% of both groups. In addition, disparities are more exaggerated among transitional-aged youth (ages 18-24), with Black youth comprising 39% of youth experiencing homelessness.
Hispanic and Latino Homelessness
During the 2023 Homeless Count, the percentage of unhoused people who were Hispanic or Latino returned to pre-pandemic levels. In the 2022 count, 44% were Hispanic or Latino, slightly decreasing to 38% in 2023 and resembling their 2020 representation of 37%. Their share remains slightly higher than their 36% share of the city's population. The most significant disparities are observed among families experiencing homelessness, with 70% identifying as Hispanic or Latino, and among people experiencing first-time homelessness, where 44% are Hispanic or Latino. These disparities underscore the need for targeted efforts to address the unique needs and barriers faced by Hispanic and Latino people experiencing homelessness in Pasadena.
Groups with Greatest Growth
The following groups saw a notable rise in the proportion of people experiencing homelessness compared to other demographics.
First Time Homeless
Rise in First-Time Homelessness
In 2023, there was an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time compared to 2022 (83 vs. 49). However, despite this rise, the share of individuals experiencing first-time homelessness has not yet reached the pre-pandemic rate of 19%, with 14% being recorded in 2023 (compared to 9% in 2022).
The demographics of people affected by first-time homelessness reveal certain groups are disproportionately impacted. Hispanic and Latino people accounted for 44% of the population experiencing first-time homelessness, surpassing their overall representation in the general homeless population of 38%. Additionally, people fleeing domestic violence accounted for 36% of people experiencing homelessness for the first time, surpassing the overall 13% average for unhoused people. Veterans also faced a higher risk, with 11% becoming newly homeless compared to their 6% share of the total unhoused population. Similarly, families experienced higher rates of first-time homelessness, comprising 13% of people who became newly homeless compared to their overall 5% share of the unhoused population.
Factors contributing to housing loss were predominantly economic in nature. A total of 35% of people experiencing homelessness for the first time reported losing their job, while 24% experienced homelessness due to financial reasons, and another 24% experienced homelessness due to COVID-19-related factors. Eviction also played a significant role in people falling into homelessness, accounting for 24% of cases, compared to 17% in 2022.
The rise in first-time homelessness highlights the ongoing challenges faced by communities in achieving stable housing that requires targeted support for vulnerable populations that encompass economic stability, affordable housing, and robust social support systems.
The Pasadena Continuum of Care (aka Pasadena Partnership) is in the process of developing an updated Homelessness Plan that establishes a comprehensive framework with aggressive targets for significantly reducing homelessness in Pasadena. The plan is in its final stage and is expected to be presented to Council in late summer 2023.
About the Count
The Pasadena Homeless Count is a one-day count and survey of people living outdoors and in temporary shelters. The homeless count is one of the many tools used to measure the scope of homelessness in Pasadena. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that the unsheltered count take place biannually during the last ten days in January, however Pasadena conducts a count annually.