Thursday, June 10, 2004

ON THE STREETS: Numbers of Homeless Up Says Council of Governments

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has released a study of the area's homeless population. And the numbers have increased since the survey was conducted last year. As with all surveys, the analysis can be confusing. In this case, differences are made between the varied forms of homelessness.

From the MWCOG:
COG’s enumeration project provides a “snapshot” of the homeless people who come into contact with service providers on a single day, and is not intended as a scientific count of the population trend over time. For the first time, it counted the number of people who are housed permanently in shelters or other supportive housing because they are unable to support themselves independently due to extreme poverty and serious mental or psychological disabilities. On January 21, 2004, there were 3,151 “permanently supported homeless” who have reached a stable housing setting that represents part of the overall solution to homelessness. Increasing the number of available permanent supportive housing units would in turn decrease the number of those who are “literally homeless,” with either no shelter at all or temporary housing only. Of the total count for 2004, 11,386 people were literally homeless.


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