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Transcript of The 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report · PDF file Homeless Management Information System...

  • The 2008 Annual Homeless

    Assessment Report

    July 2009

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

    Office of Community Planning and Development

  • FOREWORD

    I am pleased to submit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress. This report is the fourth in a series of annual reports about homelessness in the United States. The report breaks new ground by being the first report to provide year-to-year trend information that explores changes in the patterns of homelessness over time.

    The 2008 AHAR focuses on two types of national estimates of homelessness. Point-in-time estimates provide the total number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single-night in January. These estimates are based on local community counts of homeless persons, and the report compares point-in-time estimates for 2006 through 2008. The report also provides one-year estimates of the total sheltered population based on information from local Homeless Management Information Systems. The one-year estimates account for persons who used a homeless residential program at any time during a 12-month period. The report compares one-year estimates for 2007 and 2008.

    I am especially pleased with this year’s report because community participation in the AHAR has grown significantly and is expected to continue during the next few years. Between 2007 and 2008, the number of communities participating in the AHAR increased from 98 to 222, the largest one-year increase since HUD began collecting information for the AHAR.

    The report comes at a time of economic uncertainty and provides a few early indicators of how the economic downturn may be affecting the housing situation of low-income and vulnerable Americans. In these times, it is especially important to have comprehensive information about people who have become homeless. This latest report will be important in informing policy decisions and developing new strategies to prevent homelessness and assure decent affordable housing for our citizens.

    Shaun Donovan

    Secretary

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    This 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) was developed by a team of researchers from Abt Associates Inc. and the University of Pennsylvania Center for Mental Health Services and Research. The team was led by Principal Investigators, Dr. Jill Khadduri (Abt) and Dr. Dennis Culhane (University of Pennsylvania). Dr. Alvaro Cortes (Abt) served as project director and was responsible for leading the data collection and analysis effort. Additional team members include: Tom Albanese, Larry Buron, Lauren Dunton, Nichole Fiore, Lindsay Fox, Tyronda Gibson, John Griffith, Mary Joel Holin, Emily Holt, Bulbul Kaul, Michelle Klausner, Joshua Leopold, Saty Patrabansh, Louise Rothschild, Kate Ryan, Brian Sokol, Brooke Spellman, K.P. Srinath, Matt White, and Jeff Smith (all from Abt Associates) and Stephen Poulin (University of Pennsylvania).

    The effort to develop an Annual Homeless Assessment Report began in 2002. Since then, the project has benefited greatly from the contributions of a number of HUD staff. Paul Dornan of the Office of Policy Development and Research, and Julie Hovden and Michael Roanhouse of the Office of Community Planning and Development have provided overall leadership and vision. The project has also benefited from the support of other HUD staff in the Office of Community Planning and Development, especially Mark Johnston and Ann Oliva. As a consultant to HUD, Dr. Martha Burt has provided thoughtful input on early drafts of the report.

    Finally, this project and this report could not have been possible without the participation of staff from Continuums of Care, local government agencies and nonprofit agencies responsible for HMIS implementation in communities across the country as well as HMIS software solution providers. Their continued commitment is greatly appreciated.

  • Table of Contents

    Executive Summary.............................................................................................................................i Point-in-Time Estimates of Homeless Persons in 2008..................................................................i One-Year Estimates of Sheltered Homeless Persons, October 2007-September 2008 ..............iii Sheltered Homeless People in 2008 ...............................................................................................iii Trends in Sheltered Homelessness, 2007-2008.............................................................................iv The Nationwide Capacity of Residential Programs for Homeless People ...................................v Looking Ahead ................................................................................................................................vi

    Chapter 1 Introduction......................................................................................................................1 1.1 History of the AHAR ..........................................................................................................1 1.2 AHAR Estimates for 2008..................................................................................................2 1.3 This Report...........................................................................................................................4 1.4 Trends in Homelessness and the Economic Crisis............................................................5

    Chapter 2 National Estimates of All Homeless People, Sheltered and Unsheltered................7 2.1 PIT Counts of Homeless People.........................................................................................8 2.2 Trends in PIT Counts of Homeless People........................................................................9 2.3 PIT Counts of Homeless Subpopulations ........................................................................15 2.4 Estimates of Sheltered Homeless Individuals and Families During a One-Year

    Period .................................................................................................................................18 2.5 Summary of the National Estimates of All Homeless People........................................21

    Chapter 3 Sheltered Homeless People in 2008.............................................................................23 3.1 Characteristics of People Using Homeless Shelters, 2008 .............................................23 3.2 Location of Homeless Service Use, 2008........................................................................33 3.3 Patterns of Homeless Service Use, 2008 .........................................................................36 3.4 Summary of All Sheltered Homeless People in 2008.....................................................39

    Chapter 4 Trends in Sheltered Homelessness between 2007 and 2008....................................41 4.1 Changes in the Sheltered Homeless Population between 2007 and 2008 .....................42 4.2 Changing Patterns of Becoming Homeless, 2007-2008 .................................................47 4.3 Changing Use of the Residential System for Homeless People, 2007-2008.................50 4.4 Summary of Trends in Sheltered Homelessness between 2007 and 2008 ....................56

    Chapter 5 The Nationwide Capacity of Residential Programs for Homeless People............59 5.1 Inventory of Residential Programs and Beds, 2008........................................................59 5.2 Geographic Location of Beds, 2008.................................................................................63 5.3 Bed Utilization and Turnover Rates, 2008 ......................................................................66 5.4 Changes in the National Inventory of Residential Programs and Beds, 2006-2008.....68 5.5 Summary of the Nationwide Capacity of Residential Programs for Homeless

    People.................................................................................................................................72 Chapter 6 Looking Ahead ...............................................................................................................75

    6.1 The 2009 AHAR................................................................................................................76 Appendix A: List of 2008 AHAR Sample Sites and Contributing Communities Appendix B: Data Collection and Analysis Methodology Appendix C: Continuum of Care Point-in-Time Counts of Homeless Persons Appendix D: Counts of Homeless Sheltered Persons Using HMIS Data

  • Executive Summary i

    Executive Summary

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is pleased to present the 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), the fourth in a series of reports on homelessness in the United States. The reports respond to a series of Congressional directives calling for the collection and analysis of data on homelessness. The 2008 AHAR breaks new ground by being the first report to provide year-to-year trend information on homelessness in the United States. The report provides the latest counts of homelessness nationwide—including counts of individuals, persons in families, and special population groups such as veterans and chronically homeless people. The report also covers the types of locations where people use emergency shelter and transitional housing; where people were just before they entered a residential program; how much time they spend in shelters