The census was designed to determine the homeless population of Santa Cruz County, while the survey — administered to a sample group of 369 homeless people — was designed to ascertain what the root causes of homelessness and other statistics.
Taken over a two-day span in January 2013 by a group of 72 volunteers and paid homeless canvassers, the data gathered was compiled by the Watsonville-based Applied Survey Research.
According to the collected data, 3,536 people in Santa Cruz County fall under the definition of homeless — including those living in shelters and those who do not.
That total represents an increase over the previous census, taken in 2011, of more than 700 people.
Of that number, 6 percent of the countywide total — 159 people — live in the San Lorenzo Valley. One percent — 25 people — were listed as living in the Scotts Valley area.
According to the data, a majority of the homeless surveyed were males, over the age of 25, permanent residents of Santa Cruz County, homeless for more than a year, and had been homeless on multiple prior occasions.
The most common cause of homelessness, respondents said, was a lack of income and employment, followed closely by the high cost of rent in the county.
Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed reported receiving government assistance; 68 percent reported a disabling condition; and 44 percent reported that they were living on the street.
For the complete listing of the census and survey data, visit http://www.appliedsurveyresearch.org/