Alexandria Column: Sheltered vs Unsheltered

Alexandria Column: Sheltered vs Unsheltered

Homeless In Alexandria

The Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness in the City of Alexandria is a coalition of nonprofit service providers, affordable housing developers, faith communities and government agencies who collaborate daily to serve those who are homeless in our city. To help the community, have a better understanding of the causes and impacts of homelessness, the Partnership will present a series of articles on the 2016 Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness in Alexandria, focusing each segment on a different aspect of this complex community challenge.

The Point-in-Time survey is conducted in the last week of January each year. On Jan. 28, 224 persons were experiencing homelessness in Alexandria, including 129 single adults, 31 adults in families and 64 children in families. The majority of those counted were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing that night, but 12 single adults were reported as unsheltered. No families were unsheltered on the night of the count. As an aggregate number, this represents an approximate reduction in the incidence of homelessness by 16 percent from 2015 to 2016.

HUD’s definition of homelessness includes people who are living in a place not meant for human habitation, in emergency shelter, in transitional housing, or are exiting an institution — hospital or jail — where they temporarily resided, but it does not include persons or families who are doubled up in housing or paying for a hotel room. Most industry professionals agree that the number of people meeting the official definition is 1/3 of those who are homeless by the broader definition.

Next: Getting to “Functional Zero” on veteran homelessness.