Posted: 6:26 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013

Homeless numbers continues to rise in Montgomery County



By Kelli Wynn

Staff Writer

DAYTON —

The number of homeless adults living on the streets in Montgomery County is on the rise, according to a federally mandated homeless census.

A count by the Housing and Homeless Solutions for Montgomery County’s Office of Family and Children First reveals the number of unsheltered homeless adults rose to 65 in 2012 compared to 26 in 2010.

“With the warm winter (in 2012), some people chose to stay outside possibly,” said Joyce Probst MacAlpine, manager of the county’s Housing and Homeless Solutions.

However, the number of sheltered homeless single adults slightly decreased to 388 in 2012, compared to 396 in 2010.

MacAlpine said a possible explanation for the decrease could be that the county has been focused on housing for the homeless and has had more transitional housing programs.

A similar count was taken Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in Montgomery County by Ohio’s Homeless Point-in-Time. Results will be released in the next couple of months, but MacAlpine predicted the unsheltered count will be lower than last year because of the cold temperatures.

Each state must participate in the count, which provides a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Teams of volunteers from the county and agencies that included Miami Valley Housing Opportunities, Homefull and the Dayton VA Medical Center canvassed the county early Wednesday and found people in parking garages, under bridges, near railroad trestles, near bus hubs and in wooded areas while enduring 11 degree temperatures.

“Our best avenue at the initial meeting is to try and convince them to go to a shelter,” said Charles Turner, an MVHO PATH Outreach specialist who helped with the count.”We try to provide what we can for them to make sure they are safe.”

Kathleen Shanahan, the county’s PIT count coordinator, said she believes some of the people they met did not sleep in a shelter because of issues relating to mental illness or some have had bad experiences in the past with being in a shelter.

Regardless of their situation, Shanahan said seeing the people outside is heartbreaking and raises a lot of questions.

“How can someone live there? How can we value people so little that we think that’s okay?” she said of what she thinks when she does the counts.

The U.S. Dept. of HUD reports that 633,782 people across the country were homeless when the count was taken last January. That was a less than one percent difference from the number in January of 2011.


Point-in-Time Homeless Persons Count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Montgomery County statistics on single adults

Sheltered single adults:

  • 2012 - 388 (as of the night of Jan. 24, 2012)
  • 2011 - 393

     

     

  • 2010 - 396

     

     

 

Unsheltered single adults

  • 2012 - 65 (as of the night of Jan. 24, 2012)
  • 2011 - 38
  • 2010 - 26

 

Ohio 2012 stats

Sheltered persons in households without children (emergency shelter only) - 3,976

Unsheltered persons in households without children - 1,413

*Source is U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

 
 

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