Latest Homelessness Count Shows Significant Decrease

Infographic indicating a 42 percent decrease in homelessness in Fairfax Co.

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UPDATED May 12

It was cold on Jan. 28, just a few days after the blizzard when county and nonprofit personnel fanned out across our community for the annual Point in Time Count to determine the number of people experiencing homelessness.

Though we found people homeless, it’s far less than when we first counted in 2008.

Homelessness in our county has decreased 42 percent since 2008. This represents 776 fewer people counted as homeless on one night in January 2016 than on one night in January 2008.

Read 2016 Report on Homelessness in Our Region

 

Chart showing decrease in homeless population from 2008 to 2016.

 

The 2016 numbers from our Office to Prevent and End Homelessness show significant decreases in almost every category from 2015, including:

2015 2016 Change
Total Number of Homeless 1204 1059 -145
Homeless Family Households w/ Children 213 179 -34
Families Homeless Due to Domestic Violence 94 87 -7
Chronic Homeless Among Single Adults 203 146 -57
Homeless w/Serious Mental Illness/Substance Abuse Among Single Adults 268 202 -66
Read the 2016 Point In Time Report

 

Why are we seeing these decreasing numbers? Contributing reasons include a countywide emphasis on homelessness prevention and housing availability, as well as an unified approach to homeless services with the county’s nonprofit and community partners, according to Dean Klein, director of the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness.

The Point in Time Report also shows there is still work to be done:

  • Increase in Older Homeless Population: 139 single adults were over 55 years old in 2016; 123 were counted in 2015.
  • Significant Amount of Homeless Single Adults: Even after a slight decline this year there were still 482 homeless single adults
Read Point In Time Demographics of Our Homeless Community

 

The Point-in-Time count was conducted in coordination with the entire Metro DC region. The annual count is conducted consistent with the guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and covers people who are literally homeless – those who are in shelters, in time-limited transitional housing programs, or unsheltered and living on the street.

 

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