Indiana's Homeless Population Decreases in 2015 Point-in-Time Homeless Count

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) has released the statewide findings from the 2015 Point-in-Time Homeless Count. Conducted every January, the count provides a snapshot of homelessness in the State of Indiana.

Taking place on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, the Point-in-Time Homeless Count is a requirement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for every community receiving federal funds for programs to aid the homeless. The count is mandated to take place at least biennially during the last two weeks of January.

While the amount of federal allocations is not directly based on the findings of the Point-in-Time Homeless Count, HUD considers the outcomes and justifications for upwards and downward swings as additional information for tracking purposes and future strategies.

Indiana’s Point-in-Time Homeless Count takes place on a yearly basis, with Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care & IHCDA, the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) and the South Bend Continuum of Care conducting counts covering all 92 counties.

“The decrease in homelessness is an encouraging sign as we continue to work towards ending homelessness in our state,” said Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who chairs the IHCDA board. “We are committed to implementing proven, permanent supportive housing strategies that show success in reducing the number of homeless in our state.”

The 2015 count demonstrated a two percent decrease in overall homelessness from last year, with a total of 5,863 persons without a home on January 28th. Through statewide initiatives and programs aimed at combating homelessness, there has been a steady reduction in numbers signified in a 9% overall decrease since 2010.

With a 15% decrease from 2014, the total number of homeless households with dependent children was 636 and there were decreases of 1% for both the total number of households without children and the total number of persons compared to last year.

The count did show an increase of veteran homelessness compared to 2014. For veterans with children, there were 34 persons compared to 17 last year.  For veterans without children, there were 784 compared to 710 last year.

With Indiana’s ongoing partnership with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, IHCDA  has collaborated in the development of  two new permanent supportive housing projects that will assist disabled homeless veterans.  Opening in late summer of 2015, NWI Veterans Village in Gary will provide housing for 44 veterans.

Taking into consideration both the upward and downward trends in Indiana’s homeless statistics, IHCDA and statewide partners remain focused on working together to systematically prevent and end homelessness for the most vulnerable Hoosiers. This goal will not be accomplished quickly, but by identifying an individual’s or family’s barriers to self-sufficiency and targeting the most appropriate housing solution, Indiana’s efforts to minimize the number of people that enter the homelessness delivery system and the duration of time they spend in it should prove effective.

Breaking down populations by category, Indiana’s 2015 Point-in-Time Homeless Count observed:

  • 5,863 persons comprising 4,470 households were homeless during the last week in January 2015
  • Of the persons found and identified as experiencing homelessness:
    • 5,281 were staying in emergency shelters, safe havens or in temporary transitional housing programs
    • 582 were unsheltered ( on the streets)
    • 3,798 households were persons without dependent children
    • 636 households were with dependent children
    • 1,261 were under the age of 18 years old
    • 794 of the adults counted were veterans
    • 1,145 of the adults counted were persons fleeing from domestic violence
    • 602 identified themselves as being characterized as “chronically homeless”
    • 1,026 adults counted identified themselves as having a substance abuse disorder
    • 1,099 of the adults counted identified themselves as having a serious mental illness

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