Indiana’s Housing & Community Development Authority recently released the point-in-time count of the number of people without homes living in the state.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness, a non-partisan advocacy nonprofit, recently posted a 2011 Counts Media Map that illustrates the change in the number of people without homes since 2009 using states’ point-in-time counts. Overall, 57 percent of the states and communities they have heard from have reported an increase in the population of people who are homeless.
The 2011 Counts map includes data from Indiana (supplied by Indiana Public Media, among others), showing a 1 percent increase in the number of homeless Indiana residents since 2010. However, taking a longer view, the number of people who are homeless in Indiana has decreased by 17 percent since 2007, according to the state’s Housing & Community Development Authority. The total number of individuals who are homeless is 6,166, in 4,408 households.
The point-in-time count is a snapshot of the homeless population on a single day in January 2011. Homeless residents were counted by volunteers, who walked the streets and visited social services organizations (such as food kitchens) in all 92 Indiana counties. Volunteers are trained to count people who are housed in emergency or transitional shelters, and people who are unsheltered, meaning that they are sleeping in spaces not meant for human habitation.
Although any county that applies for money through the department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is required to conduct a point-in-time count every two years, many housing advocates and state agencies feel that it is useful to conduct the count every year because it allows agencies to determine community need. Indiana conducts its point-in-time count every two years.