According to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Vermont has seen an increase in homelessness from 2012 to 2013. The HUD study showed nationally a decline in the total numbers of those homeless. The HUD study uses data from a count conducted on a single night, known as the Point-in-Time. Shelters report how many people are using their facilities, and how many are left without shelter. This report is from data collected last January. Vermont Public Radio has more:
While the number of homeless people in Vermont went up from 1,160 to 1,454, the number of “unsheltered” homeless Vermonters (those who aren’t in emergency shelters or transitional housing) went down from 223 to 184.
With decreased federal assistance – Department of Children and Families Commissioner Dave Yacavone said Vermont lost 774 Section 8 vouchers – state and local services have to do more to keep up.
One of those services is the John Graham Shelter in Vergennes, which opened additional space this year. Director Elizabeth Ready says the new transitional housing facility is already occupied.
“We’re also seeing people staying for longer periods,” Ready said. “An average of 60 days, people are staying at the shelter, and we used to see people staying like 21 days.”
The federal report comes after Ready and other community representatives gave Gov. Peter Shumlin a set of recommendations for how the state can help bring down the number of homeless Vermonters.
Listen and read the full VPR report here.
See also: HUD Releases Homeless Estimates for 2013