Idaho Homeless Numbers Decrease Six Percent

BOISE, ID – July 12, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — A statewide count of homeless persons in Idaho conducted by Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) and regional housing coalitions, indicates there are 2,199 homeless in the state, over a six percent decrease from the 2,346 registered last year.

Of those who identified, 1,310 were single individuals or members of adult-only households and 297 were households of two or more persons consisting of at least one adult and one child (889 total persons in households).

The numbers indicate that 25 percent of the homeless in Idaho are minors, 24 percent suffer from substance abuse, 17 percent from mental illness, 23 percent are victims of domestic violence and 15 percent are veterans.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all Continuums of Care who receive funding through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to count the number of unsheltered and sheltered homeless persons and families in Idaho during one night in the month of January every year. Volunteers count those homeless they encounter and add the data to that collected by shelters, transitional houses, and other service providers via the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

The Point-in-Time (PIT) count, as the report is called, is the only resource available to obtain information on the unsheltered homeless.

“Since many homeless people do not use shelters, they will be left out of the equation completely if only data from shelters was used,” said James Gruber, IHFA’s Grant Programs manager.

Currently, Idaho receives over $3 million for programs that serve the homeless. The data from this count helps determine the amount of funding awarded for Idaho’s homeless programs. The data also helps to understand the changes in trends among the homeless populations and raise public awareness of homelessness.

Data from the one-night PIT count and the longitudinal data collected by the HMIS are the primary sources used to measure the progress in meeting the national strategic goal of preventing and ending homelessness.

“There are many programs in the state that aim to prevent and reduce homelessness by providing adequateshelter and counseling to help individuals and families become self-sufficient,” said Gruber. “IHFA’s role is to support providers across the state with funds, as well as to ensure the data is collected appropriately every year.”

For the PIT count all adults, children in households and unaccompanied youth are counted if, at the night of the count, they reside under any of these circumstances:
• Unsheltered homeless person resides in a place not meant for human habitation. Included in this count are people in temporary tents or armory shelters, encampments, and warming centers.
• A sheltered homeless person resides in an emergency shelter, transitional housing or supportive housing for homeless persons who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters.

This definition of homelessness does not include persons who may be staying with friends or relatives, in a hotel/motel, in a treatment facility, or in jail.

For a copy of the complete report, please visit IHFA’s website at
http://www.ihfa.org/ihfa/grant-programs/homeless-management-information-system-hmis.aspx

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Idaho Housing and Finance Association, a financial services and housing business organization, improves lives and strengthens Idaho communities by expanding housing opportunities, building self sufficiency, and fostering economic development.

Contact:
Maria Ortega mariao (at) ihfa (dot) org
Public and Media Relations Officer
208-331-4858
Katrina Thompson katrinat (at) ihfa (dot) org
Marketing and Communications Manager
208-331-4738

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Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA), 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.

Contact:

Idaho Housing and Finance Association.
565 W. Myrtle P.O. Box 7899
Boise, ID 83707-1899

Lisa Davis
Public & Media Relations Officer
Phone: 208-331-4858

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