The number of homeless veterans is up more than 12 percent this year. That’s according to results of a statewide count released yesterday.
Indiana Housing and Community Development spokesperson Lori Dimick says the simple numbers don’t tell the whole story. She says the increase can be attributed to more community awareness.
“We just got awarded from HUD two programs for permanent supportive housing in the Gary area and Kokomo area that’s just focused on homeless veterans,” said Dimick. “So there is more awareness from the federal government to address the veterans homeless issue.”
Ana Etter works to connect homeless veterans with services in the Fort Wayne area.
“They come and meet regularly, they learn about job skills, how to transition into housing, (the) resources that are available, social interaction, just kind of a support group for them, I know our agency has presented there and tried to let them know the services that are available in their community.”
The count shows there are more than 6,000 homeless people in Indiana – veterans make up 12 percent of that total.
- 6,064 individuals comprising 4,375 households were homeless during the last week in January 2013.
- Of the 6,064 individuals found and identified as experiencing homelessness, 668 were unsheltered and found on the street and 5,396 were staying in emergency shelters, safe havens or in temporary transitional housing programs.
- 3,602 households were persons without dependent children.
- 1,543 were under the age of 18 years old.
- 1,116 of the adults counted were women fleeing from domestic violence.
- 743 of the adults counted were veterans.
- 739 households were with dependent children.
- 503 identified themselves as being characterized as “chronically homeless.”
- 16% of the adults counted identified themselves as suffering from a chronic addiction.
- 13% of the adults counted identified themselves as having a severe mental illness.