Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 19, 2016
City of Atlanta to Conduct 2017 Annual Point-In-Time Count
2016 count reports six percent decline in homelessness from year 2015 and a 26 percent decline since 2013
ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today that it will conduct the 2017 annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Homeless Count over a 24-hour period on January 23 and 24, 2017. The Atlanta PIT Homeless Count helps identify vulnerable groups by conducting surveys that provide demographics characteristics, homeless history, homeless experiences and other vital information. The census seeks to count both sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness.
The homeless count is crucial for meeting federal requirements to continue receiving funds for homeless services, and for tracking the success of local efforts to make homelessness rare and brief in the City of Atlanta. Partners for HOME, the Atlanta Homeless Continuum-of-Care (CoC) and more than 300 volunteers conducted the 2016 PIT count last January which identified a total population of 4,063 homeless individuals, a six percent decrease in the homeless population from 2015 and a 26 percent decrease from 2013 overall.
“The Point-In-Time Homeless Count is a vital initiative that the City of Atlanta undertakes annually to determine the state of our homeless population and to determine additional resources and partnerships of value to end homelessness,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “While there still is much work to be done in our effort to create an effective end to homelessness in our city, I am heartened by the hard work done by Partners for HOME and the agencies that make up the Continuum of Care. The decrease of the City’s homeless population documented in the 2016 Point-in-Time count illustrates that through collaboration and cooperation, we can move the needle in a positive direction by providing permanent housing to our most vulnerable citizens. We look forward to the findings in the 2017 census.”
Since 2013, the CoC has seen a 61 percent decrease in the total number of chronically homeless individuals, a 52 percent decrease in unsheltered homeless individuals and a 62 percent decrease in the number of homeless veterans in Atlanta. Since Mayor Reed accepted President Obama’s challenge to end veteran homelessness, the CoC has permanently housed more than 1,000 Veterans.
The annual data gathered in the Atlanta count helps the CoC gauge its progress, identify unmet needs, raise awareness and advocate for additional federal, state, and local resources to provide services for the homeless population. In turn, the findings will help inform the CoC’s strategic planning process, as well as leverage and align additional public and private resources to further decrease homelessness in the City of Atlanta.
“We are excited to undertake this year’s Point-In-Time count,” said Cathryn Marchman, Executive Director, Partners for HOME. “When Mayor Reed created Partners for HOME in 2013, he demonstrated his commitment to create a collective and clear path to make homelessness rare and brief in Atlanta. Results from last year’s PIT Count are encouraging, thanks to the incredible passion and commitment of our provider community, government partners and private sector stakeholders. We will continue to use the PIT data to help shape our strategic plan and identify the resources needed to end homelessness.”
The PIT Count is federally mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for all communities receiving federal funds through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants Program. Recently, the Atlanta Homeless Continuum of Care was awarded a three-year, $2.4 million Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The SAMHSA grant facilitates collaboration among City and Continuum of Care agencies to reduce homelessness for chronically homeless individuals living with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders in the City of Atlanta. The goal of the project is to connect individuals to a successful permanent housing solution with access to all necessary mainstream support services.
To read the 2016 Atlanta Point-In-Time Homeless Count, click here, http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=132
About Partners for HOME
Created by the City of Atlanta in 2013, Partners for HOME is creating a collective and clear path to making homelessness rare and brief. The organization pulls together, nonprofit, government, and business leaders to zero in on a shared, consistent, and measured approach toward success.
About the Continuum of Care Mandate
The CoC Program is designed to assist individuals (including unaccompanied youth) and families experiencing homelessness and to provide the services needed to help such individuals move into permanent housing, with the goal of long-term stability. More broadly, the program is designed to promote community-wide planning and strategic use of resources to address homelessness; improve coordination and integration with mainstream resources and other programs targeted to people experiencing homelessness; improve data collection and performance measurement; and allow each community to tailor its program to the particular strengths and challenges within that community.
For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed