Highlights from the 2016 Point-in-Time Count of People Experiencing Homelessness

On the night of January 28, 2016 there were 1,059 people who were literally homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church community. This represents a 12% reduction from the number counted in January 2015, or 145 less people. There was a decline in numbers throughout the homeless system, inluding in families, children in families, adults in families, single adults, people experiencing chronic homelessness, and families experiencing domestic violence, demonstrating the success of the strategies implemented the past 8 years. These results are reflected in the chart below. The total decrease in the homeless population from 2008 to 2016 is 42%, which represents 776 less people homeless on one night in January 2016 then there were on one night in January 2008.



  • There were 1,059 people who were literally homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church community. 577 were people in families, 482 of them were single adult individuals.  
    • The number of people who were literally homeless declined by 12 percent (145 people) from the number counted in January 2015.
    • Persons in families decreased by 19 percent (138 people) compared to 2015. The number of families decreased by 16 percent (34 families).
    • Single adults decreased by one percent (7 people) compared to 2015.


  • People in families accounted for 54 percent of all homeless persons counted, consisting of 179 families with 577 people.
    • The primary reduction from 2015 to 2016 was in families in emergency shelters. There were 95 families in 2015 and 64 in 2016, representing a change of 106 individuals. There was a 33 percent decline in the number of families in emergency shelter. Shelter capacity was decreased, there were no families in motels used as overflow on the night of the count, and there were vacancies in emergency shelters, both mainstream and domestic violence shelters.
    • 36 percentof the families (64) counted were residing in emergency shelter while 64 percent of the families (115) were in transitional housing programs.
    • 32 percent of all persons(341 persons) who were homeless were children under the age of 18, a small decrease (4 percent) from last year.
    • 80 percent (190 people) of the adults in homeless families were female.
    • 66 percent of adults (155) in homeless families were employed; a slight increase from 62 percent in 2015.
    • For families whose homelessness was due to domestic violence, the number of families (87) in 2016 decreased 7 percent (7 families) from the number of families in 2015 (94).
    • 12 percent (21) of families were considered "youth households", as all the family members were under the age of 25 years old. This was a slight decline from 14 percent (29 families) last year.


  • Single adult individuals accounted for 46 percent of all homeless persons counted, a total of 482 people.
    • 42 percent (202 people) of single adults who were homeless suffered from serious mental illness and/or substance abuse, a 13 percent decrease from last year. Many had chronic health problems and/or physical disabilities as well.
    • 30 percent (146 people) were experiencing chronic homelessness. This is a significant decrease from last year when 42 percent (203 people) were experiencing chronic homelessness. A small segment of this decrease is due to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) refining of the "chronically homeless" definition.
    • 75 percent of single individuals (359) were male; a similar number to last year. In addition to the 25 percent of females (122 people), there was one transgendered person.
    • 28 percent (134) of single adults were employed; slightly higher than the 25 percent in 2015.
    • 8 percent (37) of the single adults were reported as veterans; similar to 2015. 
    • 29 percent (139) of the single adults were over 55 years of age; an increase from 25 percent (123) in 2015.
    • 9 percent (43 people) of the single adults were transition-aged youth, defined by HUD as between the ages of 18-24 years old. This was a decline from 11 percent (52 people) from 2015.
    • There were 74 unsheltered individuals. There were six more unsheltered than during the 2015 count. Unsheltered individuals comprised 15 percent of total single adults. This increase, might be due to the improved methodology and coordinated outreach performed to count the unsheltered population as well as the weather as the participation in the Hypothermia Prevention Program declined on the night of the PIT.


  • Contributing Factors: 
    • Adoption of a Housing First approach;
    • Increased homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing efforts; 
    • Prioritizing housing for individuals with the longest history of homelessness and highest vulnerability;   
    • Continued development of a unified approach across the homeless services system;
    • New county-wide contracts with updated and specific goals have contributed to notable systemic changes that have made the continued decline possible;
    • Additional permanent supportive housing for singles experiencing chronic homelessness was created through new and reallocated HUD Continuum of Care program funding, as well as Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers;
    • New permanent housing opportunities for families with children were also made available, including Kate's Place, Housing Choice Vouchers, and VASH vouchers; and
    • More system-wide coordination and change, as well as increased housing options, will ensure continued progress towards the goal of making homelessness rare, brief and nonreoccuring in our community.

The Point-in-Time count was conducted on January 28, 2016 in coordination with the entire Metro DC region as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia. 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. 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 who are homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church community.


Characteristics of Single Individuals

Characteristics of Single Individuals

Characteristics of Persons in Families

Characteristics of Persons in Families

 View Archived Point-in-Time Counts.

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