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MULTNOMAH COUNTY - This map from the report shows where the homeless died in 2015.A report released Friday found that 88 homeless people died in Multnomah County in 2015, the highest number since statistics began being kept in 2011.


According to the report, titled "Domicile Unknown:

Review of deaths among people experiencing homelessness in Multnomah County in 2015," was compiled by the Multnomah County Health Department.

"Each death is a tear in the fabric of our community, it rips through us, and touches all of us. None of us should rest as long people are dying on our streets," Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said in an introduction to the report.

"There is simply no reason that, in a community that is thriving economically, that hundreds of people should be dying on our streets, isolated and alone, and without a safe place to call home. It is beyond tragic. We must work harder," homeless advocate Israel Bayer, executive director of Street Roots, said in another introduction.

Among other things, the report found that In 2015, as in each of the previous years, most of the people who died were men. The youngest man was 17 years old, the oldest was 78.

In addition, 17 women died in 2015, a sharp increase from four female deaths in 2014. The youngest woman to die in 2015 was 22 years old, the oldest 68. Overall, women died younger than men, with a mean age of 41, versus 50 for men.

The report also found that 10 African Americans/Blacks also died in 2015, up from seven deaths the previous year.

More than half of the 88 deaths were accidental, and a quarter were from natural causes. Five people died of homicide, up from one homicide in 2014.

And the report found, alcohol or drugs caused, or con- tributed, to death for 44 peo- ple, with heroin or prescription opiates playing a role in 22 of those.

As documented in previous reports, 56 people died in 2014, 32 people died in 2013, 56 people died in 2012 and 47 people died in 2011.

The report was released as Portland and Multnomah County are trying to respond to an increasingly visible homeless population by creating more shelters and building more affordable housing.

You can read the report at multco.us/file/55924/download

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