Housing Alliance Delaware Releases Data on the Statewide 2019 Point in Time Homeless Count
Wilmington, De. (June 24, 2019) - Today Housing Alliance Delaware released data from their annual Point in Time Count of homelessness, conducted statewide overnight on January 30th and into the next morning. This year over 130 volunteers and Housing Alliance staff counted individuals and families staying in year-round emergency shelters, seasonal Code Purple sites, long term transitional housing and motels, The teams also located and surveyed those categorized as “unsheltered” in vehicles, emergency waiting rooms, libraries, train and bus stations, tents, sheds and other places not fit for human habitation. Over 10% were unsheltered on a night when the temperature dipped below 5 degrees throughout the state.
Housing Alliance Delaware reports an overall statewide decline of people experiencing homelessness from 1,082 in 2018 to 921 this year, a 15% decrease. New Castle and Kent Counties also saw significant decreases of 25% and 20%. The overall State decline was hampered by a substantial increase in Sussex County, where the number of people experiencing homelessness jumped by 40%, from 118 last year to 181 this year.
This year the percentage of children under 18yrs rose to 24% of the counted population, up from 21% in 2018. The percentage who were youth, defined as 18-24 yrs by HUD, also ticked up slightly from 7% to 8%. The percentage of adults experiencing homelessness with children accompanying them grew from 35% of the population to 39%.
The Point in Time (PIT) Count is a HUD mandated nighttime count every January for communities receiving HUD funding for homeless services. Those communities must maintain a coordinated body of diverse representatives to make funding and policy decisions for efficient use of HUD and other grant funding to end homelessness in their jurisdiction. The governing body, known as the “Continuum of Care” (COC), makes policy and monitors progress and system performance for all the agencies receiving funding. Delaware’s COC board and membership donate resources and volunteer for the annual PIT. Although it is a snapshot of a single night, the COC and other policy planners rely on the PIT statistics, along with other system performance measures Housing Alliance collects and reports, for trends and indications of which programming is achieving success.
Homelessness disproportionately impacts African Americans in Delaware, as it does nationwide. This year modest gains were made in that disparity, with a 5% decrease in the percentage of African Americans in the counted population, down from 57% in 2018 to this year’s 52%. Additional questions presented in the survey included eviction history, medical and mental health conditions, and incarceration. Positive responses to the question, “Have you been evicted by a landlord in the past 12 months” increased from 20% in 2018 to 27%. Those reporting a disability, including physical, or substance use disorder, rose from 40% to 43%, and those with a diagnosed mental health condition rose 20% to 27%. Over 10% surveyed had been released from prison in the past year.
The responses will assist the Continuum of Care, and many others, to strengthen programming and continue improving resource allocation to further reduce, and eventually end, homelessness in Delaware. Housing Alliance Delaware will be releasing the full PIT report, and other housing sector data, in its annual “The State of Housing and Homelessness in the First State” in early July.
HOUSING ALLIANCE DELAWARE RECEIVES $75,000 DISCOVER BANK AWARD
Dover, DE (November 13, 2018) – Discover Bank recently awarded $75,000 to Housing Alliance Delaware to support its Community Development Programs in Kent and Sussex Counties. This generous funding reaffirms Discover’s long standing commitment to affordable housing, community development and neighborhood revitalization in Delaware. The grant will help support Housing Alliance’s coordination of its Sussex Housing Group, a collaboration of nonprofit agencies, housing and homelessness organizations, and community representatives, working to promote real and lasting change in distressed and under-served neighborhoods in Sussex.
Through the work of the Sussex Housing Group, in the past two years, over 20 home rehabilitations and repairs have been completed for low income residents, including many seniors. Additionally, the working group established a community resource center, created a neighborhood playground, facilitated the installation of street lighting, and completed several beautification projects, all in under-served rural Sussex communities. The Sussex Housing Group exemplifies the community development successes Discover Bank makes possible in the communities where their employees live and work. The award from Discover will also fund Housing Alliance’s continued work in the Revitalization of Downtown Dover and the Dover Homelessness Task Force in Kent County.
Most notably, the funds will also support a second homelessness assessment for Sussex County in summer 2019. The Point-in-Time Count, conducted annually statewide by Housing Alliance during winter, provides valuable data to assist in the delivery of emergency shelter and other homelessness services. Housing Alliance is the Delaware agency designated by HUD to conduct the count and report the data findings. The seasonal variation of homelessness in Sussex County, due to the wildly fluctuating costs and availability of rental housing, has never been assessed. For the first time, a Point-in-Time Count will provide data on the homelessness crisis in Sussex County during summer. The data will also be included in Housing Alliance’s annual “The State of Housing and Homelessness in the First State”, released in June.
“Discover Bank is pleased to support Housing Alliance Delaware in its community development efforts in Kent and Sussex Counties,” said Discover Bank President James Roszkowski. “Access to safe and decent housing is critically important to the health and vitality of our community and we are happy to support Housing Alliance Delaware’s efforts to increase its availability in our local communities.”
Housing Alliance Delaware is grateful for the continued support and partnership of Discover Bank, as we further our mission to advance housing opportunities, end homelessness, and promote vibrant communities for all Delawareans.