Point-in-Time Count Shows Homelessness in Vermont Continues to Increase

Annual one night count of state’s homeless population finds one in four are children. 

MONTPELIER, VT – On a single night in January, 1,556 Vermonters were found to be homeless.  The 2014 Point-In-Time Count, released today by the Chittenden County Continuum of Care and the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness (the Balance of State Continuum of Care), showed a 9.27% increase in the state’s homeless population from 2013.

The report comes from data collected from the Annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, an unduplicated count of persons experiencing homelessness in both unsheltered and sheltered places which took place on January 28, 2014.  The Count and its findings were supported by the Continuums of Care, which are comprised of homeless and human service organizations, housing agencies, and other partners that strive to eliminate homelessness throughout Vermont, as well as the Agency of Human Services, the City of Burlington, the Vermont State Housing Authority, and United Ways of Vermont.

The Point-In-Time’s findings comes on the heels of two separate reports which also showed an increase in the state’s homeless numbers.

The Office of Economic Opportunity’s annual One Night Shelter Count from December showed a 7% increase from the previous year in emergency shelter use, and a 14% increase in transitional housing use.  The report found a 62% overall increase in shelter use since 2009.

Last October, the U.S. Department of Education issued a report finding that from FY 2010 to FY 2012  Vermont had a 35% increase in the number of homeless students, one of the sharpest increases in the country.

Key Notes:

  • Total found homeless on one night increased by 9.27% from 2013’s count.
  • 371 persons, 24%, or nearly one in four of those counted, were children.
  • The number of unsheltered persons, those living outdoors or taking shelter in a place unfit for human habitation, was 166 persons, an increase of 58% from 2013.
  • 227 persons reported as a victim of domestic violence.  Children are not included in the domestic violence count.
  • Only those who meet HUD’s definition of homelessness are included in the report.  The Point-In-Time does not count those precariously housed, doubled up with friends and family, or couch surfing.

Every year, the Point-in-Time Count provides a snapshot of how many people are homeless on a single night. The findings are used by the State’s Continuums of Care in their funding applications to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The PIT Count allows local communities and state policy makers to understand current problems of homelessness, target limited funding to appropriate housing and services, and track progress.

Read more about the Point-In-Time Count numbers here.

Statewide Numbers Summary.