Updated 12/6/19/19 – *Note that this measure is also a social determinant of health

The Reno Area Alliance for the Homeless (RAAH) conducts an annual Point-in-Time count (required every 2 years) of homeless individuals across Reno, Sparks and Washoe County.  The effort includes a “street” count of the homeless, an online survey of homeless service providers, a motel count of individual and families living at local motels, and interviews with homeless individuals living on the street, in motels or in shelters.  The Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP) conducts the annual Point-in-Time count survey of homeless youth.  Those interested in more specific data are encouraged to contract RAAH or NYEP directly.


  • *Washoe County identified 135 adult males and 11 adult females in 2007 being held in the county detention facility and determined that they had no fixed address.
  • **The Children in Transition Program (number of children in school identified as homeless during the year); reflects data as of January starting 2013; 2018 doesn’t include foster students
  • ***In 2015, 14 children were counted as part of the youth count (14 of 73 youth surveyed were unsheltered)
  • ****2018 motel count lower due to changes in number of available motels
  • *****Seniors 55+ beginning 2017
  1. Total persons in 2010 includes 102 counted at “tent city” including 73 males, 29 females with 4 of 102 identifying self as seniors;  2011 total includes 72 counted on the street and 103 who completed surveys

  2. All teen youth in 2010; ages 15-17 in 2011; 2 < 18-years + 15 ages 18-24 in 2012; 1 < 18-years + 1-youth in 2013; 15:43 youth surveyed in 2014 were unsheltered

  3. Plus “tent city” in 2010;  plus Safe Ground in 2011; 2016 found 5 camps with occupants + 8 unoccupied + 6 abandoned; 2017 camps identified the day before the count by law enforcement

  4. 204 total in 2010 (with 179 individuals and family members for emergency shelter) turned away or placed on a waiting list for that night

  5. 2012 includes 23 pregnant women;  2013 includes 12 pregnant; motel count percentages–2014=80%, 2015=71%, 2016=93%, 2017=98%

  6. 90 families counted in 2012

  7. 2010 emergency shelter included 71 out of 412 in overflow; 2015 included 70:454; 2016 included 110:452; 2017 included 163:550


  • WCSD defines homelessness through the McKinney-Vento Act as students who lack a fixed, regular, or adequate nighttime residence during the school year
  • Children in Transition (CIT) numbers for the WCSD school year will differ from the Point in Time counts above (January CIT counts were untrustworthy, thus, not reported in PIT counts plot above)

Common causes of homelessness in northern Nevada

According to data collected by RAAH, The WCSD, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, Kid’s Corner, and other service providers, approximately 16,000 households are considered at risk of becoming homeless in Washoe County.  The most common factors of homelessness in northern Nevada are domestic crises (including domestic battery), inability to find an affordable house or apartment, unemployment, sudden illness in the family, and unforeseen major expenses.  Some additional factors include the lack of adequate transportation preventing individuals from living in permanent housing, non-payment for child assistance, severe mental illness, chronic substance abuse, and victims of domestic violence.


The City of Reno’s Police Department MOST officers (Mobile Safety Outreach Team) also pair with clinical social workers to take homeless to Reno’s Record Street community Triage Center for detox and diagnosing mental illnesses, as an alternative approach to fighting crime.  The local chapter of the National alliance on Mental Illness donated money for an outreach van to transport those in need of treatment. City of Reno homeless services

Family support services are available from local government social services agencies, the Assistance League of Northern Nevada, various shelters in the Reno/Sparks area, Kids Kottage and The Children’s Cabinet, as well as WCSD Family Resource Centers.


Reno Area Alliance for the Homeless, Annual Homeless Count, Comparison Data on Homeless Population;

Consolidated Plan & 2010 Action Plan, May 15, 2010, Prepared for the City of Reno by BBC Research & Consulting as sourced by Kelly Marschall, Social Entrepreneurs, Inc;

Washoe County School District, Data Summit 2015; WCSD Program Evaluator, jharris@washoeschools.net

Nevada Report Card, accountability year report  demographics

Download the data

TMT members can download the data files used to monitor indicators.