PORTLAND, Ore. — At least 207 Oregonians have died while experiencing homelessness this year, according to preliminary data from the Oregon Health Authority.
The geographic region that encompasses Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Grant, Harney Klamath, Lake, and Wheeler counties reported 17 deaths.
This is the first time Oregon has released numbers of this kind.
Senate Bill 850, which passed last year, requires all Oregon counties starting this year to track how many people die without shelter.
The data shows people died in every adult age group but a third of deaths involved people between the ages of 55 and 64.
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Nearly 80% of the counted deaths were men.
There were 69 deaths among those ages 55-64, the largest number of that demographic.
The preliminary data attributes 74% of the deaths to natural causes. Other manners of death include unintended injury, suicide and homicide.
The highest number of deaths came in January — 48. The fewest — 25— came in February.
Geographically, the highest number of deaths came in northwest Oregon, encompassing Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook, and Washington Counties. Ninety deaths were reported there.
More than half the deaths happened somewhere other than a hospital, hospice facility, nursing home or residential institution.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.