CARLSBAD, Calif. – Newly-released numbers show homelessness in San Diego County is up 10 percent. But it’s a different story in Carlsbad, where homelessness is down 20 percent.

“We were encouraged that it was down 20 percent, especially because it was up in other parts of the region and we also recognize homelessness is something that’s really hard to measure accurately — it says one piece of data, but definitely not the only piece of data that we look at,” said Kristina Ray, a spokesperson for the City of Carlsbad.

The regional homeless count saw the number of people experiencing homelessness in Carlsbad go from 148 to 118.

The city highlighted those numbers the day after the Regional Task Force on Homelessness released results from the “point-in-time count” taken in February.

Those numbers are compared to the previous count taken in 2020.

The City of Carlsbad developed its own Homeless Response Plan in 2017 and is now looking to expand its 50-bed shelter and is opening a new building with 48 units of permanent supportive housing.

“We have really had to bring in some experts. We hired someone to head up a new housing and homeless department. It’s really trying to get some expertise so that we’re not duplicating efforts but really just addressing gaps and making sure that we’re coordinating with all of the regional partners,” said Ray.

But just north in Oceanside, homelessness is up 31 percent with 318 unsheltered people counted.

“We see this as something that’s solvable,” said Michael Gossman, assistant city manager for Oceanside.

Gossman says there is progress, pointing to the hotel voucher program the city started about a year ago.

“47 percent of the people that we have coming in there are finding some type of longer-term housing, whether that be a treatment center, whether that be permanent housing,” said Gossman.

The city is also getting $2.25 million in federal funding to help build a new navigation center for those experiencing homelessness.

“Hopefully, by the beginning of fall of this year, we’ll have a 50-bed facility. Until that time, we will continue to operate our hotel voucher program so we can continue to offer that housing for folks,” said Gossman.