New Homelessness Data Reveals Latest Trends

8:22 AM, Oct 28, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Partners Ending Homelessness released new data Monday, showing the community's performance in the effort to end homelessness in Guilford County.

Partners Ending Homelessness works with community agencies and volunteers to provide resources to individuals and families who are homeless. For the past year, the group has been keeping data measurements on homelessness and intends to release data sets like this more frequently, in an effort to increase transparency on the issue with the community. Kosciak said he wants to shift the focus of homelessness from problems to solutions.

Partners Ending Homelessness took data from October 2012 through September 2013.  Of the number of families and singles who were homeless, 519 were able to get stable housing on their own, 251 were reunified with family, 126 were rapidly re-housed, 33 people took advantage of HUD-VASH-permanent supportive housing for veterans and 79 took advantage of other resources.

A total of 1,008 people were able to move, on their own, from homelessness into permanent housing.  Partners Ending Homelessness executive director Darryl Kosciak said these numbers show positive progress in the effort to end homelessness--a goal he said is feasible.

Kosciak said every sector of the community will benefit from or be improved by a real reduction in homelessness. He said the new system shift toward ending homelessness focuses first on placing people into permanent housing and then assessing factors that contributed to their homelessness.

Guilford County has the country's fourth-highest rise in poverty.  It has the South's second-highest increase in unemployment.  The costs of homelessness to the community are $600 to $3,500 a month per individual or family experiencing homelessness.  Kosciak said approximately 1,000 people in the county are homeless on any given night.  Ten to 15 percent of people experiencing homelessness are considered chronically homeless.

In the Guilford County Schools system, 2,277 students experienced homelessness last year.  According to the U.S. Department of Education, homeless students are defined as children and youth who are living with a friend or relative as a runaway or who are considered to be unaccompanied youth due to being abandoned by their parent or legal guardian.

Kosciak said any community members who wish to help can donate their volunteer time or monetary contributions to local shelters and other Partners Ending Homelessness partners.

WFMY News 2

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