113 people homeless people in Multnomah County died in 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new report shows more people lacking permanent housing in Multnomah County died in 2019 than in any previous year studied. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that number — 113 — is likely an undercount. Since 2011, Multnomah County has produced a report on deaths in the area’s houseless population. In 2019, the number of such deaths jumped by 21. Report author Dr. Paul Lewis speculates that the increase is mainly due to an increase in people experiencing homelessness. Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury pointed to increased rents in the Portland area and lack of federal funding as driving causes of homelessness.