A new report from The United States Conference of Mayors paints a grim picture of homelessness as captured by several trends observed in major cities across the nation.
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have a global day dedicated to giving back. Today, millions of Americans will kick off the giving season by supporting worthy causes as part of #GivingTuesday. Charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, and individuals will come together to give back to the community and support causes that make a difference in the lives of people across the world.
Here at the Alliance, we work every day to research and share solutions that will end homelessness for the thousands of individuals and families that are living in shelters and on the streets. Our staff works with federal partners to ensure that these solutions receive the funding and support needed from the national level to have a real impact on lives across the country. And our Capacity Building team trains local providers, the people working on the ground in your cities and towns, on how to best implement these solutions to end homelessness in your community.
One a single night of this year, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness in across the country. This is according to the 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) Part 1, which was released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This report provides data aggregated from community point-in-time counts conducted in January and includes longitudinal trends in overall homelessness and among specific subpopulations.
So how are we doing in our efforts to end homelessness? Overall homelessness has decreased by 11.4 percent since 2010, when the Administration set ambitious goals to end veteran and chronic homelessness in five years and family and youth homelessness in 10 years. And, we have seen substantial decreases in veteran, chronic, and family homelessness in that same time period:
System performance outcomes make up 38 points of your HUD Continuum of Care Competition application this year. This means your performance now carries significant weight when it comes to determining your funding (more than ever before).
And while it may seem daunting to look at the numbers around your outcomes (or even downright scary), your outcomes will tell you what your vision should be for your system, and what kind of plan you should outline in your application. Here are ways you can reflect on your outcomes for HUD’s seven performance measures:
Every day, homeless service providers across America input a plethora of data into their community’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). This information contains a wealth of information on the homeless population who accesses services, and it can answer a lot of questions about our nation’s sheltered homeless population.
For example: How many people access shelters during a year? What are the demographic characteristics of this population? How long do people experiencing homelessness tend to stay in shelter or transitional housing?