Homeless deaths rise to at least 88 in Multnomah County in 2015 - KPTV - FOX 12

Homeless deaths rise to at least 88 in Multnomah County in 2015

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

At least 88 homeless people died in Multnomah County in 2015, up from 56 in 2014.

A report on homeless deaths was released by the Multnomah County Health Department on Friday.

Called the Domicile Unknown report, it is based on case investigations by the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office and Oregon State Medical Examiner Division and is produced in conjunction with Street Roots.

The report shows that the majority of homeless people who died in 2015 were men. The youngest was 17 years old and the oldest was 78.

Seventeen homeless women died in Multnomah County in 2015.

More than half of the overall deaths of homeless people in the county were accidental. Five were homicides, five were suicides and 21 were natural causes, according to the report.

There was one homicide involving the county's homeless population in 2014.

The reports states alcohol or drugs caused or contributed to 44 deaths, with heroin or prescription opiates involved in 22 of those.

Recommendations made in the report to address the growing number of homeless deaths include increasing the number of affordable housing units, providing emergency day and night shelters, more behavioral health services and additional availability of addiction treatment resources.

There were 47 homeless deaths in 2011, the first year of the report, followed by 56 in 2012 and 32 in 2013.

To view the full report, go to multco.us.

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