Are You Ending Chronic Homelessness in Your Community?

written by Sam Batko
June 11, 2013

How many chronically homeless individuals are there in your state? Has that number increased or decreased over the last few years? If your state is anything like the overall U.S., then the number of chronically homelessness individuals in your community should be shrinking.

From 2011 to 2012, chronic homelessness decreased 7 percent. In fact, chronic homelessness has been decreasing for several years. From 2007 to 2012, chronic homelessness in the U.S. has decreased 19 percent from 123,833 people to 99,894 people.

Is your state keeping up with that pace? Some communities are!  According to the Alliance's State of Homelessness in America 2013, chronic homelessness decreased in 29 states and the District of Columbia from 2011 to 2012. Many states even saw large double-digit decreases, including Louisiana, Michigan, Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Maryland.

Unfortunately the news is not all good. While chronic homelessness is going down, the rate of decrease is not fast enough to achieve the U.S. government’s goal of ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2015. The Alliance has just released a Data Point brief that details how many chronically homeless people would need to be housed every year between now and the 2016 point-in-time count to meet the goal: almost 25,000 individuals each year. It is achievable, but it will take continued investment in and proper targeting of permanent supportive housing.

Take this brief to your community leaders and ask them what they are doing to help achieve this goal. Look at how your community is using resources and ensure that permanent supportive housing is being properly targeted toward those experiencing chronic homelessness. Together we can end chronic homelessness by the end of 2015.