DC Reports Increase in Homelessness

Results from this year’s Point-In-Time Count are out, and there is an almost 12% increase across populations this year. Some factors that could be driving this increase include the slow rollout of FY22 and FY23 housing resources coupled with an increase in inflow. You can view the 2023 Point in Time Dashboard here, which includes numbers broken down by population and demographic information. 

In this timely piece titled “DC reports homelessness increase year after record-low numbers,” The Washington Examiner spoke with our very own Executive Director Karen Cunningham about the recent findings and what is necessary to end homelessness in DC. 

“We had unprecedented investments in permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals in the FY22 and FY23 budgets,” Cunningham said. “And as of now, there are no new resources budgeted for FY24, which is really concerning because we know that permanent supportive housing works, that housing is the solution to homelessness.”

 You can read the full article here.

Everyone Home DC Participates in Annual Point in Time Count

On the cold evening of January 22 and into the early morning hour of January 23, more than 300 volunteers joined members of homeless services organizations from all over the city to perform DC’s annual Point in Time Count (PIT Count).  The Point-in-Time count provides critical data and insights to service providers and policy makers concerning where to focus city and federal dollars in the on-going struggle to prevent and end homelessness.

The rules for how and when the PIT Count is conducted are dictated by HUD. The count is a snapshot of the homeless population that takes place, nationwide, in the last week of January every year. To streamline the process, this year was the first year the PIT Count was conducted by an app instead of paper and pen. To get the evening started, a kickoff event was held at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus, where Mayor Murial Bowser and Councilmember Brianne Nadeau shared remarks of gratitude and encouragement before the teams spread out over the city to begin the count and survey, which is not required. The survey provides the city with valuable demographic information and includes questions about episodes of homelessness, age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and experience with domestic violence.  

From 10 pm to 2am, Everyone Home DC lead a team of 12 people, canvassing Capitol Hill streets, sidewalks, buildings, bridges, and back alleyways looking for our homeless neighbors, many of whom have no choice but to live in our public spaces. With the city’s hypothermia alert activated, our PIT team counted a handful of people sleeping outside. View photos from the evening on Everyone Home DC’s Facebook page.

Everyone Home DC is grateful to our staff, our industry colleagues, and everyone who shared their time in this important moment to ensure the count’s success. We look forward to reviewing and sharing the regional analysis, that typically comes out in May, by the Metropolitan Council of Governments

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Everyone Home DC Responds to the Release of the 2019 Point-in-Time Count

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.