The 2019 Point-In-Time Homeless Count shows a 39 percent drop in chronically homeless persons and a 3.5 percent increase in overall homelessness

WICHITA, Kan., Monday, Mar. 20, 2019 — Results of the 2019 Wichita-Sedgwick County Point-In-Time Homeless Count show a 3.5 percent increase in overall homelessness, but a 39 percent drop in chronic homelessness.

The survey represents only a snapshot of homelessness on one specific night (Jan. 30, 2019) using the definition of literal homelessness from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] (see below).

Summary of results of the local 2019 homeless count
• Total number of homeless persons: 593 compared to 573 in 2018
• Homeless veterans: 57 compared to 58 in 2018
• Chronically homeless persons: 20 compared to 33 in 2018
• Unsheltered homeless persons: 57 compared to 58 in 2018
• Homeless children under 18 without shelter: none (same as 2018)

Local officials attribute the 39 percent drop in the number of persons experiencing chronic homelessness and the slight downward trend in persons without shelter to changes in the number of transitional housing beds. In the 2019 count, there was a 57 percent increase in transitional housing beds when compared to 2018 (300 in 2019; 191 in 2018). Homeless individuals in transitional housing are still considered literally homeless, but not chronically homeless.

The Point-In-Time Homeless Count is an activity of Impact ICT CoC (formerly known as Wichita-Sedgwick County Continuum of Care), a coalition of community organizations and homeless advocates. On Jan. 31 volunteers went on the streets and in the shelters to survey individuals and families who were staying on the streets or in homeless shelters overnight on Jan. 30. United Way of the Plains provided coordination for the count.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires annual counts of individuals in homeless shelters and biannual counts (on odd years) of all homeless in communities applying for federal grants for homeless services. Communities need accurate data on homelessness to determine the size and scope of the homeless problem at the local level, plan services and programs appropriately to address local needs, and measure progress in addressing homelessness.

Summary of Point-In-Time Homeless Count in Sedgwick County
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total number of persons who did meet HUD definition of being homeless 473 384 No count 634 550 538 631 561 571 575 573 593
Of the total above:
Number of homeless persons who were sheltered 445 352 No count 526 475 467 548 462 492  464 515 536
Number of homeless person who were unsheltered – Includes people who are staying on the streets, under bridges, in a car, etc.
(Note: “unsheltered” does not mean that there was not shelter space available; it only means the persons were not housed during the time the count was conducted.)
28 32 No count 108 75 71 83 99 79  111 58 57
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of persons who were chronically homeless (in above totals)

See definitions below

93 71 No count 140 142 91 107 94 39  39 33 20


According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a person is considered literally homeless when he/she lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

  • A sheltered homeless person resides in an emergency shelter or transitional housing for homeless persons who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters.
  • An unsheltered homeless person resides in a place not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, or on the streets.
  • NOTE: This definition does not include people who are staying in a home or hotel/motel, with a friend, in a treatment facility or in the jail.

“Chronically homeless”

According to HUD, a person is considered chronically homeless when he/she is: An unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been homeless for 12 months in the last three years—either continuously OR during four or more occasions. A family is considered chronically homeless when at least one adult member of the household is chronically homeless. HUD defines a disabling condition as one that impairs the individual’s ability to get or keep a job or take care of personal matters.


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Published On: May 20, 2019


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