UPDATE: Point-in-Time Count of Central Arkansas Homeless Population is Feb. 28

Seal of Little Rock
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Tuesday, Feb 22, 2022

Media Release

City of Little Rock Public Relations (501) 371-4421

Contact: Spencer Watson | (m) 501 804 4822 | sswatson@littlerock.gov


LITTLE ROCK – Homeless service providers and advocates are planning a comprehensive census of homeless people in central Arkansas on Monday, Feb. 28. Central Arkansas Team Care for the Homeless, BKA CATCH, along with the Collaborative Applicant (City of Little Rock) are heading up the effort to gauge the extent of homelessness in Pulaski, Saline, Prairie, and Lonoke Counties.

The count had been scheduled to take place Tuesday, Feb. 22., but was postponed by severe storms.

This "Point-in-Time" count is conducted under the mandate of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and will cover homeless people living in shelters and transitional housing programs as well as homeless people living on the street, in cars, or other places not fit for human habitation. Fifteen locations will operate from 5-8 p.m. on the day of the count providing care bags to encourage unsheltered homeless people to participate in the count. Four outreach teams will travel to places where unsheltered homeless people are known to be living. Teams of volunteers will also visit shelters across the area to ensure that sheltered homeless people are included.

The Point-In-Time Count provides the homeless assistance community with data needed to understand the number and characteristics of persons who are homeless at a point-in-time. The PIT count is useful on the local, state and national levels by driving the progress, driving budget request and mainly to end homelessness. In all, more than 50 volunteers are participating in the count.

A full list of partnering organizations includes: Lonoke County Public Housing, VA Day Treatment Center, Safe Harbor, DePaul/Jericho Way Day Resource Center, HUD Local Field Office, City of Jacksonville, City of Little Rock, City of North Little, Pulaski County Housing, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Little Rock School District, Our House, Saline County Sheriff’s Office, River City Ministry, University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Social Work, Arkansas Homeless Coalition of Central Arkansas, Street Ministry and The Van.

Data from the Point-In-Time count will be used by CATCH and the Collaborative Applicant to coordinate local homeless services. HUD will also collect the combined data from across the country to paint a picture of homelessness nationally. CATCH conducts a full Point-In-Time count every two years. Recent counts have shown an increase in central Arkansas homelessness (see table below). The data from the 2021 count (held January 26) hasn’t been published yet. The 2022 count won't be released until reviewed and published by HUD later in the year.

 

Central Arkansas Point-In-Time Homeless Count Data;
2019-2020 Comparison

Breakouts

 

2019

Full Count

2020

Shelter

Count Only

Change

-Decrease

Increase

Total

1066

1186

11%

Age Categories

Children

109

79

-28%

Young adults

64

78

22%

Adults

893

999

12%

Sheltered Status

Unsheltered

573

*573

0%

Sheltered

493

613

24%

Key Homeless Subpopulations

Veterans

135

121

-10%

Chronically Homeless

296

272

-8%

        *Note data pulled from 2019 Unsheltered Count due to a Shelter Only Count for 2020

 

“We are hoping that the results of this year’s Point-In-Time Count will show a decline in homelessness in central Arkansas and that the decrease will one day soon eliminate homelessness within our chronically homeless population, as well as within family homelessness,” said Michelle Spencer, CATCH program coordinator.

“However, many have been displaced due to the pandemic and the need for affordable housing has increased due to recent evictions,” she continued. “With increased funding of HUD programs like emergency solutions grants and continuum of care, we will continue to cultivate ideas that will hopefully decrease homelessness. By continuing efforts and reaching out to landlords and property owners across central Arkansas, our most vulnerable population of homeless, veterans, individuals and families may receive housing. They can acquire housing vouchers. However, many are often unable to find suitable, affordable and available housing.”

 

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