Homelessness in the District: 2012

On January 25 2012, The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness (TCP) and street outreach volunteers conducted the Point in Time (PIT) census and survey of homeless persons in the District of Columbia.  In recounting the count, I noted that data collection tracks progress and informs service providers, policymakers, the public, and other anti-poverty measures.  This single day snapshot of the homeless services continuum of care helps TCP and partners in District government to identify gaps in the current portfolio of services and informs future program planning. PIT has been completed annually by TCP since 2001 and is conducted in accordance with the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s reporting standards.

Quick Facts from PIT 2012

  • 6,954 persons were counted during PIT, a 6.2 percent increase overall from the 2011 count of 6,546The number of unaccompanied individuals counted decreased by 2.4% from 2011, while the number of families increased by 18.6%
    • 3,767 unaccompanied homeless individuals and
    • 3,187 adults and children in 1,014 homeless families
  • 3,772 persons were counted in Emergency Shelters
  • 2,503 persons were counted in Transitional Housing facilities
  • 679 unsheltered persons were counted by professional street outreach workers and volunteer teams that canvassed the city on the night of the count
  • 12% of homeless adults surveyed reported having served in the United States Armed Forces.
  • One third of adult homeless persons reported a chronic health problem, and 22% reported a physical disability

In quantifying, localizing, and putting faces to homelessness, the PIT “snapshot” renews and rededicates Behrend Builders and the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service commitment to social justice work.  In working with shelters, at-risk families, or the chronically hungry, our programming and volunteers seek to improve the health and quality of life of individuals suffering from homelessness.  With DC homelessness on the rise and many more sleeping outside, we can no longer be asleep when the need for anti-poverty services is as critical as ever.    

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