Homelessness on the Rise in D.C.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ 2016 Point in Time (PIT) count, conducted on January 28 found a 14.4 percent increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness in D.C., according to the report released in May. The number of unhoused people increased from 7,298 in 2015 to 8,350.
While the total unaccompanied individuals without homes decreased by 3.8 percent, a 31.8 percent rise in unhoused families led to the overall increase.
The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness attributes this increase to growing housing affordability issues in the District and the availability of family shelters year-round.
Until 2015, family shelters were mostly only open during hypothermia season. 425 families have been placed in shelters since the policy changed.
On the night of the PIT Count, no families or unaccompanied children were found outside of shelters, but 318 adult individuals were.
Forty-two families and 1501 unaccompanied individuals surveyed fell into the category of chronically homeless, which means they were living with disabilities and were homeless for long or repeated periods of time. Fifty-seven percent of individual adults and 21 percent of adults in families had no source of income.
Three hundred and fifty veterans were unhoused during the 2016 PIT count, which is 14 percent less than in 2015.