BOISE, ID – May 28, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Homelessness. The word alone does little to explain how it affects individuals, families, and communities. Nearly 2,000 Idahoans – 24% under the age of 18 – were identified as homeless during the annual homeless Point-In-Time Count, conducted statewide on Jan. 28, 2009.
However, help is on the way for those experiencing homelessness. Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) has applied to HUD to administer $4.4 million in funds statewide through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. These funds open up a wide array of options for agencies and non-profits that aid Idahoans facing homelessness.
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program is intended to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless; and will help re-house and stabilize those already experiencing homelessness. With this funding, IHFA will supplement existing homelessness prevention funding provided by Stewart B. McKinney Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) to project sponsors across Idaho. The funds will primarily be used for short-term rents, interim rents, and eviction avoidance. Service providers in the homelessness sector across Idaho have met and discussed ways to coordinate efforts to maximize the impact of the incoming money.
“These funds will provide project sponsors with additional resources, allowing them to reach out to even more people who need it,” said Gerald Hunter, IHFA president and executive director.
January’s count provides a sobering snapshot of how homelessness is affecting Idahoans. In total, 1,939 sheltered (those people residing in emergency shelters, transitional housing or supportive housing) and unsheltered (those residing in a place not meant for human habitation) persons were counted as homeless. Here’s a further look at the results of Idaho’s count.
- 1,117 of those counted were single; while 280 included households of two or more people
- Of persons who identified gender, 60% were male and 39% were female
- Of persons who identified age, 24% were under the age of 18
- Of persons who identified disabling condition, 24% suffer from substance abuse and 11% from mental illness
- Of persons who identified, 16% are veterans and 16% are victims of domestic violence
An additional 204 precariously housed individuals or households (those who are in an institution who do not have other housing options, those living in hotels/motels, or those doubled up with family or friends) were surveyed during the unsheltered portion of the count but were not included in the final count numbers.
Data for this survey was collected in two ways. Sheltered homeless data is collected from surveys filled out by shelters and from the statewide Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) database. The unsheltered homeless survey is administered by “street or known locations” and “service based” counts conducted in each region of the state and entered into HMIS.
Idaho Housing and Finance Association, a financial services and housing business organization, provides funding for affordable housing in Idaho communities where it is most needed and when it is economically feasible. For more information, visit our Web site at www.ihfa.org.
Lisa Davis lisad (at) ihfa (dot) org
Public & Media Relations Officer
Steve Rector stever (at) ihfa (dot) org
Public Affairs Director