Housing Alliance Delaware Releases Data on the Statewide 2019 Point in Time Homeless Count
Wilmington, De. (June 24, 2019) Today Housing Alliance Delaware released data from their annual Point in Time Count of homelessness, conducted statewide overnight on January 30th and into the next morning. This year over 130 volunteers and Housing Alliance staff counted individuals and families staying in year-round emergency shelters, seasonal Code Purple sites, long term transitional housing and motels, The teams also located and surveyed those categorized as “unsheltered” in vehicles, emergency waiting rooms, libraries, train and bus stations, tents, sheds and other places not fit for human habitation. Over 10% were unsheltered on a night when the temperature dipped below 5 degrees throughout the state.
Housing Alliance Delaware reports an overall statewide decline of people experiencing homelessness from 1,082 in 2018 to 921 this year, a 15% decrease. New Castle and Kent Counties also saw significant decreases of 25% and 20%. The overall State decline was hampered by a substantial increase in Sussex County, where the number of people experiencing homelessness jumped by 40%, from 118 last year to 181 this year.
This year the percentage of children under 18yrs rose to 24% of the counted population, up from 21% in 2018. The percentage who were youth, defined as 18-24 yrs by HUD, also ticked up slightly from 7% to 8%. The percentage of adults experiencing homelessness with children accompanying them grew from 35% of the population to 39%.
The Point in Time (PIT) Count is a HUD mandated nighttime count every January for communities receiving HUD funding for homeless services. Those communities must maintain a coordinated body of diverse representatives to make funding and policy decisions for efficient use of HUD and other grant funding to end homelessness in their jurisdiction. The governing body, known as the “Continuum of Care” (COC), makes policy and monitors progress and system performance for all the agencies receiving funding. Delaware’s COC board and membership donate resources and volunteer for the annual PIT. Although it is a snapshot of a single night, the COC and other policy planners rely on the PIT statistics, along with other system performance measures Housing Alliance collects and reports, for trends and indications of which programming is achieving success.