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More than 200 people have died while unhoused in Oregon this year

A walker is decorated with flowers, parked outside of a tent along Southwest 13th Avenue, in Portland, April 4, 2022.
Kristyna Wentz-Graff
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A walker is decorated with flowers, parked outside of a tent along Southwest 13th Avenue, in Portland, April 4, 2022.

More than 200 Oregonians died while homeless from January through June of this year, according to recent data from the Oregon Health Authority.

At least 207 people died in Oregon while experiencing homelessness this year, from January through June.

The Register-Guard first reported the numbers released on an Oregon Health Authority dashboard, after Senate Bill 850 required all Oregon counties to track how many people die without shelter. The data tracking started in January, which was also the month that the most people died.

Data show disparities among various demographics. Four times more men died than women, and 75% of the people who died were older than 45. Only one juvenile was reported. Less than half of the deaths happened in a medical or care facility.

Some populations were disproportionately impacted. Indigenous people experiencing homelessness died at a rate nearly six times higher than white Oregonians experiencing homelessness. Black people died at a rate nearly twice as high as white people who were also unhoused.

Medical officials listed 154 of the deaths as “natural” and 32 as “unintentional injury.” A small number were caused by homicide and suicide. Numbers for June are still being reported. The Oregon Health Authority said an annual reporting dashboard should be available in fall of next year.

Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Alex Hasenstab