Year-in-Review Snapshot on Homelessness Presented to Board of Supervisors
Mar. 6, 2012
- Decrease in the number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time, down from 1,639 in FY 2010 to 1,376 in FY 2011.
- More people able to move from homelessness into permanent housing, up from 482 in FY 2010 to 714 in FY 2011.
- Creating affordable, appropriate and safe housing options for those at the lowest income levels remains a top priority.
Michael O’Reilly, chairman of the Governing Board of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness, presented the 2011 “Community Snapshot” chronicling the success and efforts of the partnership to the Board of Supervisors at its March 6 regular meeting. O’Reilly highlighted the progress of the county’s 10-Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, reviewing local trends and discussing future challenges.
“The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness continues to effectively ensure that the county’s investment in serving those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness is utilized in the most efficient and effective manner,” O’Reilly said. “Strides have been made in partnership with local nonprofits, business and the faith community in meeting and exceeding all state and federal mandates. The focus on implementing the 10-Year-Plan remains the core strategy.”
This is the first time the partnership has had a baseline to compare against, and O’Reilly called the results “exciting.” There has been a decrease in the number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time, down from 1,639 in FY 2010 to 1,376 in FY 2011. During the same time period, there has been an increase in the number of people who received community case management services, outside of shelter, up from 838 in FY 2010 to 1,477 in FY 2011. O’Reilly noted that overall, more people were able to exit homelessness into permanent housing in 2011.
During the past year, implementation of the county’s Housing Opportunities Support Team (HOST) Short Term Assistance funding in tandem with community case management services and housing locator programs has provided the means to support thousands of people who may have otherwise become homeless. Relationships have been made with landlords to help quickly identify appropriate affordable housing and move people who are homeless into permanent housing, and stimulus funds are being leveraged for maximum results (91 percent of those who received this funding did not become homeless).
Affordable housing was cited as one of the partnership’s biggest challenges. For the second year in a row, there is a gap in the number of units that were developed, leaving a total gap of 53 units in the first two years. O’Reilly stated that “creating affordable, appropriate and safe housing options for those at the lowest income levels has to be a top priority – for many of our elderly, disabled and low-income neighbors long-term affordability is one of their most critical concerns.”
The complete community snapshot may be viewed online.