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Most people who experience homelessness do so only briefly, and are able to self-resolve in a matter of days or weeks. But for others, complex needs that make it difficult to live independently result in chronic homelessness that is nearly impossible to self-resolve. Homelessness in Marin is disproportionately experienced by certain populations, including men, black/African American people, and Latino/a/x/e people. For more on the demographics of Marin’s homeless population, see our Data Dashboard page.

Marin County has adopted a Housing First approach to ending homelessness. A key aspect to this approach is developing the correct types of housing interventions to resolve homelessness. Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is a solution for many of the most vulnerable chronically homeless people. It combines ongoing housing assistance with voluntary supportive services to move people quickly from homelessness into housing without preconditions such as income or treatment.

Marin County has a goal of increasing Permanent Supportive Housing by 10% in 2022 compared to 2021.

With our community partners, Marin has dramatically increased its supply of PSH since 2016. Despite the closure of one 29-bed program in the first half of 2022, we are expecting an increase in beds by the end of the year through the addition of approximately 48 beds through Casa Buena and Mill Street.

Data Source: Local Permanent Supportive Housing Data Collection System

This chart shows PSH units from 2016 through 2021 in Marin County and the change in the number of units from year to year. The County has a goal of increasing supply of PSH by 10% from 2021 to 2022. This means we would need 714 PSH units by the end of 2022. We will be posting quarterly updates on our creation of new PSH in 2022.

Scattered-site versus Single-site

One key aspect of a Housing First approach is to have a variety of housing solutions, as different people have different housing needs. Single-site PSH units are in one location, such as an apartment building. Scattered-site PSH units are distributed throughout a community. Some people thrive best with the independence of living in a scattered-site unit, while others prefer the community and on-site services of a single-site unit.

Data Source: Local Permanent Supportive Housing Data Collection System

This chart shows PSH units from 2016 through 2021 in Marin County by housing type: single-site and scattered-site. Since 2018, the County has increased its supply of scattered-site PSH units in comparison to single-site PSH units.

However, this chart doesn't tell the whole story. Our existing single-site projects are more likely to be for families with children, and many have lower service levels than are needed to help our most vulnerable, highest-service-need clients. Project Homekey is an opportunity for Marin to increase the number of site-based permanent supportive housing projects for single adults.

Data Source: Local Permanent Supportive Housing Data Collection System

This chart shows single-site PSH beds from 2016 through 2021 in Marin County by whether they are housing single adults or families. Since 2019, there have been more single-site PSH beds dedicated to housing families than single adults.

Adult versus Family

The County has worked with community partners to increase the number of PSH units dedicated to housing families with children. Families with children have unique needs that are best addressed by case management that specializes in families rather than generalist case managers, so our focus has been on creating new family-specific PSH programs. Increasing family PSH is important to promoting racial equity because, in Marin, families experiencing homelessness are more likely to be Black, Indigenous, and People of Color than single adults experiencing homelessness.

Data Source: Local Permanent Supportive Housing Data Collection System

This chart shows the total number of PSH beds for single adults and families with children from 2016 through 2021 in Marin County. There are five times more PSH beds for families in 2021 than there were in 2016. 

Find Marin's Permanent Supportive Housing data here.