Office to Prevent and End Homelessness

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday

703-324-9492
TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 942
Fairfax, VA 22035

Thomas Barnett,
Director

Highlights from the 2020 Point-in-Time Count of People Experiencing Homelessness

Chart showing highlights from the 2020 point in time count of people experiencing homelessness

The 2020 Point-in-Time Count was conducted on January 22, 2020 in coordination with the entire Metro DC region. This annual count, conducted in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines, includes people who are literally homeless – those who are in shelters, in time-limited transitional housing programs, as well as those who are unsheltered and living on the street. Conducting the enumeration requires extensive efforts by a wide range of community partners, involving dozens of staff and volunteers from public and private nonprofit organizations that work with people experiencing homelessness in the Fairfax-Falls Church community. The details of the 2020 Point-in-Time Count, compared to the details of the 2019 Point-in-Time Count, are below.

 

TOTAL COUNT

There were 1,041 people who were literally homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church Community on the night of the 2020 Point-in-Time Count, January 22, 2020. This represents a 1% overall increase (7 more people) from the 1,034 people counted during the 2019 Point in Time Count conducted on January 23, 2019.

 

Graph showing point in time count 4 year trend from 2017 to 2020

 

HOUSEHOLDS WITHOUT CHILDREN

Single adult individuals accounted for 49% of all homeless persons counted, a total of 513 people. Total single individuals increased by 1% (508) increase from 2019. 

  • 17% (88) of all single individuals were unsheltered, a decrease of 1% (89) from 2019.
  • 28% (144) of all single individuals were in emergency shelter, a decrease of 5% (152) from 2019.
  • 50% (257) of all single individuals were in hypothermia or shelter overflow, an increase of 2% (251) from 2019.
  • 5% (24) of all single individuals (all were between the ages of 18 and 24) were in transitional housing, an increase of 50% (16) from 2019. 
  • 9% (47) of all single individuals were transition age youth households, between the ages of 18 and 24, a decrease of 2% (48) from 2019.
  • There were no youth only household, under the age of 18 in the youth shelter; there was one in 2019.
  • 34% (174) of all single individuals were over 55 years of age, an increase of 6% (164) from 2019.
  • 70% (359) of all single individuals were male, a decrease of 3% (371) from 2019.
  • 25% (126) of all single individuals were employed, a increase of 8% (117) from 2019.
  • 34% (174) of all single individuals were chronically homeless, an decrease of 18% (213) from 2019.
  • 36% (183) of all single individuals suffered from serious mental illness and/or substance abuse, an 8% (198) decrease from 2019.
  • 6% (30) of all single individuals were veterans, a decrease of 12% (34) from 2019.

HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN

Persons in families accounted for 51% of all homeless persons counted, consisting of 161 families with 528 people. This includes 210 adults and 318 children under the age of 18. Total persons in families increased by <1% (526) from 2019.

  • 64% (103) of the families counted were residing in emergency shelter, an increase of 2% (101) from 2019.
  • 36% (58) of the families were in transitional housing programs, a increase of 18% (49) from 2019.
  • There were no unsheltered families in 2019 or 2020.
  • 31% (318) of total persons counted were children under the age of 18, an decrease of 3% (329) from 2019.
  • 83% (174) of adults in families were female, an increase of 7% (163) from 2019.
  • 56% (118) of adults in families were employed, an increase of 15% (103) from 2019.
  • 32% (52) of the families were homeless due to domestic violence, a decrease of 10% (58) from 2019.
  • 16% (26) of the families were considered transition age youth households (head of household under the age of 25 years old) an 8% (24) increase from 2019.
  • 2% (3) of the families had a veteran head of household, 8 families had veteran head of households in 2019.

Chart with 2020 point in time characteristics, examples include program types, age, gender, ethnicity, race, income and employment

 

POINT-IN-TIME COUNT

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS – 12 YEAR DECREASE

The total decrease in the homeless population between 2008 and 2020, according to the Point-in-Time Counts, is 43%. This decrease represents 794 less people experiencing homelessness during the 2020 Point-in-Time Count than there were during the 2008 Point-in-Time Count. Factors contributing to this overall decrease include:

  • Shifting resources supporting temporary housing options to support more permanent housing options, such as rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing (see housing inventory count) à Housing Inventory Count, 2008 numbers compared to 2020, number of beds
  • Implementation of Coordinated Entry, an approach to the coordination and management of the homeless system’s resources that creates consistency, efficiency, and effectively connects people to appropriate housing interventions
  • Continued engagement of a diverse and broad representation of stakeholders and partners committed to accomplishing the goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and one time
  • Increased focus on system performance measures and data analysis

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS – 2020 INCREASE

The total increase in the homeless population between 2019 and 2020, according to the Point-in-Time Counts, is 1%  (7 more people) than the 1,034 people counted during the 2019 Point in Time Count conducted on January 23, 2019. Factors contributing to this increase include:

  • Shortage of affordable housing options, including new permanent supportive housing and rapid rehousing
  • A lack of resources to support move-on strategies for those that could exit permanent supportive housing is contributing to a steady increase of chronic homelessness
  • Despite increasing the Collaborative Application Score in the past several HUD CoC Competitions, no additional funding was awarded

STUDENTS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS

 

The U.S. Department of Education uses a broader definition of homelessness than the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as it includes children and youth in shared housing due to the loss of housing, economic hardship, or other similar reasons. The following numbers collected by the Fairfax County Public Schools Homeless Liaison’s office are not included in the HUD mandated Point-in-Time Count, but are included here to provide a more comprehensive understanding of homelessness in our community.

Bar graph showing number of students experiencing homelessness from 2017 through 2020, using Department of Education definition

*Includes time schools were closed due to COVID-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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