North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

New Report on Homelessness Released

NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS RELEASES NEW REPORT ON HOMELESSNESS
 
Chronic (Long-term) Homelessness Decreased by 32% from 2005 to 2007 in North Carolina
 
Raleigh, North Carolina—On January 13, 2009, the Homelessness Research Institute of the National Alliance to End Homelessness released its second Homelessness Counts report. According to the report, North Carolina experienced a 32% decrease in long-term homelessness from 2005 to 2007, from 2,404 chronically homeless individuals in 2005 to 1,645 in 2007.
 
The report, which contains both state and national data, shows a 10% decrease in homelessness in the nation, from 744,313 per night in January 2005 to 671,859 per night in January 2007. This includes a 28 percent decrease in chronic (long-term) homelessness and an 18 percent decrease in family homelessness. While overall homelessness has declined, the picture varied among the states, with 36 percent reporting increases in homelessness and the rest reporting decreases. 
 
Despite gains to end chronic homelessness, North Carolina reported an overall increase in the total number of homeless people living in shelters or on the streets, including an increase in the number of families with children, up 13% from 2005 to 2007.  Many local advocates and service providers fear the national trend may be reversed and blame the current recession and housing foreclosure crisis for the more recent increases in homelessness that they have witnessed.
 
"Now more than ever, investment in and commitment to local 10-year plans to end homelessness is critical,” said Denise Neunaber, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness. “The realities of our current economy, coupled with mental health service system and affordable housing deficiencies mean that we have our work cut out for us. But North Carolina communities are making progress with solution focused plans to address the current and growing need.”
 
The 2005 and 2007 estimates are compilations of point-in-time counts collected by local Continuums of Care (CoCs)—the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defined jurisdictions that oversee homeless services and are required to count their homeless populations every other year on one night in January. Advocates are anxious to compare these estimates with the 2009 numbers, to be gathered on January 28, 2009 during a statewide Point in Time count of homeless North Carolinians. 
 
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The North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness is a statewide membership nonprofit created to secure resources, encourage public dialogue, and advocate for public policy change to end homelessness. Because we know that homelessness has not always existed, we know we can end it. For more information on the NC Coalition to End Homelessness, visit: www.ncceh.org  
Susanna Birdsong
Author: Susanna Birdsong
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