WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — The overall number of persons experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County decreased by 11%, as reported in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s (COG) 2016 point in time survey, released yesterday at COG’s board meeting. Conducted annually in jurisdictions throughout the region, the survey was conducted on January 28, one day later than planned because of the January blizzard. On the night of the count, there were 981 persons who were homeless in Montgomery County, as compared with 1100 persons counted in 2015.
“I am pleased that our efforts to enhance services to the homeless and to move individuals and families into permanent housing are having success,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “We have worked hard through our commitment to the 100,000 Homes Campaign, as well as our efforts to house every homeless veteran through the Zero2016 Campaign. While our work is far from complete, I want to acknowledge the efforts of our County programs and our non-profit partners who work every day of the year to reduce homelessness in our community.”
The overall decrease in homelessness can primarily be attributed to a 31% reduction in the number of homeless families with children. There were 109 homeless families with children in 2016 as compared with 159 in 2015. The reduction can be attributed to a focus on efforts to prevent entry into homelessness, use of an intensive teaming model for households in overflow space for more than 30 days, and increase in the number of rapid re-housing units and the opening of the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) waiting list. The opening of the waiting list enabled households that had stabilized in permanent supportive housing to move to
mainstream housing. Households without children experienced a four percent increase from 598 in 2015 to 623 in 2016. However, the number of adults experiencing chronic homelessness decreased eight percent from 164 in 2015 to 151 in 2016. The number of veterans decreased 29% over 2015. Montgomery County achieved the goal of ending veteran homelessness by December 2015 according to benchmarks established by two national efforts—the U.S. Mayors Challenge to End Homelessness and the Zero2016 Campaign. Montgomery County was one of only four jurisdictions nationally to meet both of the benchmarks.
“The County Council made it a priority in 2015 to find housing for every identified homeless veteran, consistent with President and Mrs. Obama’s call for states and local governments to do all we can to ensure that no one who has served our country in the military should have to sleep in the rough, on the street or in a car,” said County Councilmember George Leventhal, chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. “We are also participating in the national effort to house every chronically homeless client and address the emergency need for families and children. I am gratified to see that this year’s Point in Time count shows continued progress in achieving our goals, but we still have work to do. We are an enlightened county that cares about those who require the most help from government. Homeless clients need and deserve a government on their side.”
The County’s Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) is a public-private partnership that includes state and local government agencies, non-profit service providers, landlords and other stakeholders who have a role in preventing and ending homelessness. Led by the County’s Department of Health and Human Services, the CoC works to provide a continuum of housing services to homeless individuals, including outreach and engagement, emergency and transitional shelter, rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing. Case management is provided with an emphasis on removing housing barriers and connecting homeless individuals with housing, employment, disability entitlements and other behavioral health services. The continuum also utilizes a range of prevention initiatives, including emergency financial assistance, rent subsidies and energy assistance to prevent the loss of permanent housing.
For a complete report, go to http://bit.ly/24O81Zp.
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Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6534