Homeless Solutions Policy Board Chairpersons
Walter A. Hibner, Executive Director, Home Builders Association of Dayton
451 W. Third Street, 9th Floor
Each year the Dayton-Kettering-Montgomery County Continuum of Care (CoC), along with communities throughout Ohio, conducts a one-night count of homeless persons on the fourth Tuesday in January. The 2014 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count date was January 28th. Data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and paper surveys from organizations not participating in the HMIS was used to count persons residing in emergency shelter and transitional housing programs. A street count of homeless individuals who slept unsheltered or in places not meant for human habitation (e.g., under bridges, at the bus station, in the woods, or in an abandoned building) took place early the following morning, January 29th. Four teams of volunteers canvassed known locations looking for people who slept outdoors or in abandoned buildings. Later in the day on January 29th, volunteers surveyed at area meal sites. In 2014, the teams included volunteers from PATH (MVHO), ADAMHS, AIDS Resource Center Ohio, Daybreak, Homefull, Hood Ministries, Montgomery County Homeless Solutions, and the VA Medical Center.
In Montgomery County, a total of 791 homeless adults and children in 644 households were counted. The vast majority, 757 people (96%), were staying in one of the community’s emergency shelters or transitional housing programs on the night of January 28th. Of the 644 households, 69 (11%) were families with dependent children and 540 (89%) were in adult only households; there were two unaccompanied minors staying in shelter. There was a 24% reduction in the number of people counted in 2014 compared to the 2013 PIT count – with fewer people living on the street and fewer families in shelter. The number is also lower because HUD re-categorized the community’s Rapid Rehousing Demo project from transitional housing to permanent housing, which means these families are no longer included in the PIT count.
The weather in January 2014 was bitterly cold with more snowfall than usual; the temperature was below zero when the unsheltered street count was conducted. 34 people were identified living in abandoned buildings or other places not meant for human habitation. The weather, combined with the efforts of the outreach workers and a priority for permanent supportive housing for unsheltered people, reduced the number of people living outside 39% from the 2013 PIT count.
|Adults in Families||43||32||0||75|
|Children in Families||85||48||0||133|
There were 128 Veterans counted during the 2014 PIT count, all of whom were living in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs. This is the first year that no veterans were counted as part of the unsheltered count. Two veterans who had been counted living outdoors for multiple years moved into permanent supportive housing in the fall of 2013.
A major focus of the Homeless Solutions 10-Year Plan is the elimination of chronic homelessness – individuals with a disability who either stay in shelter or on the streets for more than a year at a time or who repeatedly cycle in and out of homelessness over time. Since the Homeless Solutions Plan was adopted, the number of chronically homeless individuals has decreased 69% from a high of 127 in 2006 to 39 in 2014.
Point-in-Time Count Comparison – Emergency Shelter and Unsheltered Counts
The CoC is required to reports the number and characteristics of PIT households in emergency shelters and in transitional housing programs to HUD. Locally, however, the focus is on households who are living in emergency shelter or on the street. Households in transitional housing are “on their way” to permanent housing, and many are already living in scattered sited units in the community where they will remain upon program exit.
Since work began on the Homeless Solutions Plan, the number of families with children in emergency shelter at a point-in-time has declined 56%, from 89 in 2005 to 38 in 2013. During the same time period, the number of adult only households in emergency shelter increased 49%. A closer look shows some differences over time. The number of single adults spiked between 2005 and 2007 (there was not a PIT count in 2006) when the St. Vincent overnight shelter moved from its smaller location on 5th street to the larger facility on Apple Street and again in 2010 following the opening of the Gettysburg Gateway for Men. Since 2010, the number of single adults sheltered at a point-in-time has remained fairly stable; the number of homeless families has fluctuated somewhat over time. (See chart below.)