1,175 individuals or members of families were homeless one January night
AUGUSTA – May 14, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — On January 30 of this year, 1,175 individuals – including 297 families and 169 children – were living in emergency homeless shelters, on the streets, or in places not meant for habitation, according to the results of the annual Point in Time Survey.
The results reflect an increase from last year’s one-day survey, which found 1,050 individuals who were homeless on January 25, 2012. And it shows that this year more than double the number of people were not in shelters that night when compared to the previous year’s count.
While the Point in Time Survey provides a snapshot of Maine’s homeless population on one particular night, the result do not represent the total number of people who are homeless in a year. Maine’s homeless shelters regularly provide MaineHousing with data on the number of people they serve and the number of nights these individuals and families stay at the shelters, which is called “bed nights.”
Last year, 7,745 unique clients were homeless, down from 7,769 in 2011. However, the people who were homeless spent more bed nights in shelters — 326,379 bed nights in 2012 compared to 301,186 in 2011.
The number of veterans who were homeless and served by shelters in 2012 was 544, and more than half were between the ages of 46 and 64 and assisted in Cumberland County.
On January 30, MaineHousing, homeless service providers, outreach workers and homeless prevention advocates conducted the Point in Time Survey, which is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in order to help define the dimensions of homelessness in Maine. The results, along with the annual figures, are used by MaineHousing and service providers, particularly the state’s two Continuums of Care, to plan programs that appropriately address what resources are needed in their communities to prevent and end homelessness.
Among the efforts to rapidly re-house people who are homeless is a new initiative called Home to Stay, a coordinated effort between MaineHousing and several of Maine’s shelters to provide education and housing vouchers to people who want to learn the skills needed to maintain a home of their own.
The Continuums of Care, one in Portland and one statewide, are former and current homeless individuals, advocates, service providers, governmental agencies and businesses who work together to provide a full range of emergency, transitional, and permanent housing and other services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
Of the 1,175 people who were counted as being homeless on January 30, 1,104 were staying in emergency shelters while 71 individuals were unsheltered and staying in cars, tents, abandoned buildings, outside or in other places not suitable for habitation. That number is more than double from the 2011 count of 33 individuals.
Also, 480 of the people who were homeless were in Portland and 695 were in the rest of the state.
Single adults encompassed most of the people encountered, but approximately one-third of the people who were homeless were members of families (297 people with 169 of them being children). The majority of adults surveyed suffer from a chronic disability, severe or persistent mental illness, and/or chronic substance abuse.
The majority of people (72.8 percent) had been homeless for seven days to six months prior to the survey, and approximately 33 percent of the people surveyed were homeless for the first time while approximately 18 percent are chronically homeless.
To see the results of the Point in Time Survey, visit http://www.mainehousing.org/data-reports/Housing-Reports.
The mission of MaineHousing is to assist Maine people to obtain and maintain decent, safe, affordable housing and services suitable to their unique housing needs. Please visit our Web site at www.mainehousing.org.
MaineHousing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, or familial status in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, and activities. MaineHousing will provide appropriate communication auxiliary aids and services upon sufficient notice. MaineHousing will also provide this document in alternative formats upon sufficient notice. MaineHousing has designated the following person responsible for coordinating compliance with applicable federal and state nondiscrimination requirements and addressing grievances: Louise Patenaude, MaineHousing, 353 Water Street, Augusta, Maine 04330-4633, Telephone Number 1?800?452?4668 (voice in state only),(207) 626?4600 (voice), 1?800?452?4603 (TTY in state only), or (207) 623?2985 (TTY).