Everyone Home DC’s Executive Director Karen Cunningham released the following statement in response to the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness.
“Every person has the right to a safe, affordable, and comfortable home. We are happy to see that family homelessness decreased by 11.8 percent and individuals experiencing chronic homelessness* decreased by 13.3 percent in Washington DC in 2018–reflecting the impact of the District’s prioritization of individuals and families living in the most vulnerable of living situations.
The 2019 Point-in-Time report confirms that more individuals and families are being afforded the right to a safe, affordable, and comfortable home through the coordinated actions of service providers, advocates, and policy makers.
At Everyone Home DC, we are proud of our contribution to this trend.
- Last year, we provided homelessness prevention services to nearly 800 families.
- And, through our Street Outreach program we helped 11 chronically homeless individuals move into their own homes.
But as the report concludes, there is more we must do to ensure no individual experiences the trauma of homelessness. There is a critical need for an increased supply of affordable housing, greater support for the delivery of wrap-around services, and dedicated efforts to decrease the disparity between income and housing costs in the District.
To accomplish this, we call for the DC Council to act with urgency and fully fund the asks of The Way Home Campaign so more individuals can move from our city’s streets and shelters into safe, affordable, and comfortable homes.”
The PIT report notes homelessness prevention programs and permanent housing solutions as key drivers in the reduction of homelessness. Everyone Home DC is one of four organizations selected to run a family homelessness prevention program with the goal of helping families avoid a shelter stay, when possible, by stabilizing their housing in the community. In 2018, 94 percent of the families working with Everyone Home DC’s homelessness prevention program were diverted from a shelter stay.
The annual PIT report provides a one-night “snapshot” of the number of individuals and families staying either in shelter, temporary housing, or on the street within nine metropolitan area jurisdictions, which is essential information for policymakers and funder. The complete report is available at mwcog.org/documents/homelessnessreport/.
*People who are chronically homeless have experienced homelessness for at least a year – or repeatedly – while struggling with a disabling condition such as a serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability.