The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority says an annual snapshot of the state's homeless population shows an overall decrease this year compared to the previous year. The organization says the number of homeless households with dependent children has dropped 12 percent to just over 650. The tally of Hoosier veterans without homes also decreased from more than 740 in January 2013 to 710 in this year.
June 24, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind, – The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) has released the statewide findings from the 2014 Point-in-Time Homeless Count. Conducted every January, the count is a snap shot of homelessness in the state on a particular night.
Taking place on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, the Point-in-Time Homeless Count is a requirement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for every community receiving federal funds for programs to aid the homeless. The count is conducted biennially during the last two weeks of January.
While the amount of federal allocations is not directly based on the findings of the Point-in-Time Homeless Count, HUD considers the outcomes and justifications for upwards and downward swings as additional information for tracking purposes.
Indiana's Point-in-Time Homeless Count takes place on a yearly basis, with Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care & IHCDA, the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) and the South Bend Continuum of Care conducting counts covering all 92 counties.
“By proactively conducting the count annually, Indiana is able to track population shifts, gauge the effectiveness of initiatives and utilize the data in planning for future programs,” said Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who chairs the IHCDA Board. “We are committed to not only administering programs for the immediate needs of homeless service providers, but continuing to assess ways to systematically work towards ending homelessness in our state.”
The 2014 count demonstrated a two percent decrease in overall homelessness from last year, with a total of 5,971 persons without a home on January 29th. Through statewide initiatives and programs aimed at combating homelessness, there has been a steady reduction in numbers signified in a 6 percent overall decrease since 2010.
With a 12 percent decrease from 2013, the total number of homeless households with dependent children was 654. However the survey found 3,827 households without dependent children, which is a six percent increase from last year. IHCDA concludes that this increase may be due to more homeless cohabitating couples who do not have children or whose children are currently not living with them.
The homeless veteran population decreased to 710 as compared to the 743 persons identified in 2013. This is due to the Veterans Administration’s commitment of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) and Indiana's commitment to increase permanent supportive housing for veterans experiencing homelessness. For example, adding to the 478 beds already in use around the state, in May 2014 Jackson Commons, a permanent supportive housing project opened their doors to homeless veterans; providing 27 supportive housing beds in the Kokomo area. Building on this success, another permanent supportive housing project to serve homeless veterans will be constructed in Lake County. The Gary Northwest Veterans Village will break ground in February 2015 with 44 beds planned for veterans.
Taking into consideration the decreased and increased homeless statistics, IHCDA and statewide partners remain focused on working together to systematically prevent and end homelessness for the most vulnerable Hoosiers. This goal will not be accomplished quickly, but by identifying an individual's or family's barriers to self-sufficiency and targeting the most appropriate housing solution, Indiana’s efforts to minimize the number of people that enter the homelessness delivery system and the duration of time they spend in it should prove effective.
Breaking down populations by category, Indiana’s 2014 Point-in-Time Homeless Count observed:
-5,971 persons comprising 4,503 households were homeless during the last week in January 2014.
-Of the 5,971 persons found and identified as experiencing homelessness:
-5,568 were staying in emergency shelters, safe havens or in temporary transitional housing programs.
-403 were unsheltered and found on the street.
-3,827 households were persons without dependent children.
-654 households were with dependent children.
-1,277 were under the age of 18 years old.
-710 of the adults counted were veterans.
-1,203 of the adults counted were persons fleeing from domestic violence.
-542 identified themselves as being characterized as “chronically homeless.”
-933 adults counted identified themselves as having a substance abuse disorder.
-770 of the adults counted identified themselves as having a serious mental illness.
For further information on the 2014 Point-in-Time Homeless Count please contact Lori Dimick, IHCDA Community Services Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), chaired by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, creates housing opportunity, generates and preserves assets, and revitalizes neighborhoods by investing financial and technical resources in the development efforts of qualified partners throughout Indiana. IHCDA believes that growing Indiana's economy starts at home. For more information, visit www.ihcda.in.gov or www.in.gov/myihcda . For updates from Lt. Governor Ellspermann and the agencies she oversees, please sign up at www.lg.in.gov.
Source: The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority