St. Vincent De Paul free meal in Eureka | File photo


Press release from Humboldt County:

Approximately 1,309 unsheltered people were counted in Humboldt County during the January 2022 Point-in-Time (PIT) count. This number is down from the 1,402 who were counted in 2019, the last time the count took place. An additional 347 sheltered people were also counted. [Note: 300 sheltered people were counted in the 2019 count. -RB]

Nearly 160 volunteers signed up to assist with this year’s count that showed the largest number of unsheltered people living in the greater Eureka area, followed by the greater Arcata area. The third largest count came from the southern part of the county, followed by the eastern part of the county, then the greater Fortuna area and finally the northern coastal portion of the county spanning McKinleyville to Orick.

The PIT biennial count takes place in communities across the U.S. on a single night during the last 10 days of January, as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Numbers from the count are used by the state of California to allocate funding to counties to address homelessness and housing. The count was canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Housing and Assistance Coordinator Robert Ward said, “The California legislature continues to base homelessness funding formulas on the number of people experiencing homelessness in each county as identified in the PIT data. This count is a critical source of data on the number and characteristics of people who are experiencing homelessness in Humboldt County. The data we collected will help local, state and federal policy makers understand the nature and extent of homelessness in our community.”

For the unsheltered portion of the PIT, volunteers count people who fall under the HUD definition: An individual or family with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport or campground. HUD defines people in the sheltered count as individuals or families living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including congregate shelters, transitional housing and hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, state or local government programs for low-income individuals).

Conducted by the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition (HHHC), the count documents the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in the community. The draft numbers have been submitted to HUD and are expected to be finalized by the end of the year. For more information about the HHHC, visit

McKinleyville/Blue Lake32
Ferndale/Fortuna/Table Bluff64
Miranda/Myers Flat/Phillipsville38
Rio Dell/Scotia10
Willow Creek3

For more details about the PIT count, click on the summary here.