Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 Triangle Point-In-Time Homeless Count Reveals 1,929 Homeless in Triangle

RALEIGH--The 2008 Triangle Point-In-Time Count revealed there are currently at least 1,929 homeless men, women and children in the Triangle living on the streets and in homeless shelters. The one-night count conducted by homeless service providers throughout Durham, Orange and Wake counties further revealed:

· There were 291 children (15 percent of the total homeless count) lived in shelters the night of the Point-In-Time count.
· 127 (7 percent) of the total number of homeless people counted lived unsheltered under bridges, in abandoned houses, or in camps.
· 272 (14 percent) of the total number of homeless people counted were considered chronically homeless. Chronically homeless is defined as more than one year of homelessness or four periods of homelessness in the last three years, and a disability or substance abuse diagnosis.
· 218 (11 percent) of the total number of homeless people counted are veterans with histories of military service.

Representative Brad Miller released the numbers at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Capital Area Homeless Veterans Stand Down held on March 27, 2008. Miller discussed the importance of supporting veterans who are returning from overseas, insuring that services are available to those who have served their country. The Stand Down is a one-day event where homeless veterans access a wide range of services. Homeless veterans are assisted in obtaining Veterans Affairs benefits, social services, health care, education, mental health, substance abuse, employment, housing, spiritual care and basic needs.

While the total number of homeless people has increased in the Point-In-Time Count since 2006 when there were 1,720 homeless persons identified, there are some positive findings over the two year period between 2006 and 2008:

· The number of people who are homeless in families dropped from 530 to 473 (an 11 percent decrease).
· The number of chronic homeless people dropped from 321 to 272 (a 15 percent decrease).
· The actual number found unsheltered on the street declined from 182 to 127 (30 percent decrease).

Wake, Durham and Orange counties all have 10 year plans to end homelessness: Wake County is into year three, Durham is entering year two and Orange is now beginning to implement their plan. All the plans have targeted strategies for identifying and engaging individuals on the street and assisting those who are chronically homeless.

If I were to guess at what is going on with these numbers I would say that those at greatest risk, those homeless people with a disabling condition, homeless families with children, and homeless individuals on the street, are moving out of homelessness into permanent housing. However, the current economy, the lack of affordable housing, and the growing anecdotal evidence from emergency service providers who are seeing more individuals with mental illness, is impacting the number of single individuals who are finding themselves homeless.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Daily Tarheel

Check out what the Daily Tarheel contributed to ending homelessness.

Monday, February 18, 2008

PHC in Shelters

The Mayor of San Francisco is trying to bring Project Homeless Connect into two city-wide homeless shelters. Take a look at this blog.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Homeless Guy

I added a link, over to the right, that takes you to a blog of the homeless guy. His post on Christianity and the Bible from this weekend is pretty interesting. A good perspective to remember.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Point In Time Count

Well, the night before last was the Point In Time Count for the State of North Carolina. This year for me was a bit more frustrating than usual. The team I was on, didn't count anyone as homeless this year in the street count. We had sites in West Raleigh around the fairgrounds area. It is always challenging when you come across campsites where people are clearly staying, but there is no one there. We can't count those who we can't see. This occurred in three locations, and I'm guessing one of the locations there were at least two people who were camping in that area.

The point in time count is not an accurate count by any stretch of the imagination, yet it is the only thing we have that counts homeless people with any sort of accuracy.

I also find myself really challenged by some of the tactics that are used by some of the local outreach ministries to help homeless people living in the woods. One local group has been known to provide people with car batteries to provide power, camp stoves, etc. I'm a firm believer in making sure people aren't cold and are safe, but this seems to me to be disincitivizing people from coming in out of doors. These folks need permanent places to live under a warm roof, not the comforts of home in a tent.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

DAHC Executive Director Position

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION available at Durham Affordable Housing Coalition (DAHC), a well established and respected nonprofit affordable housing services and advocacy agency. Duties include development and management of $ 500,000+ budget; management of a nine person staff; and housing policy development and advocacy work with 15-person Board of Directors and others.

Salary: Competitive salary based on experience plus benefits.

Qualifications: 3-5 years experience managing organization with staff of 5 or more, preferably a non-profit agency engaged in affordable housing work; successful grant writer; and proven ability to work with Board and other volunteers. College degree required; graduate degree in Public or Business Administration, City Planning or similar field preferred. Knowledge of Durham community a definite plus.

Send resume with 3 job references by February 15th to or to 331 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701. EOE

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More data on Housing First

Seattle recently released a report demonstrating the success of its housing first program. Follow this link.