WICHITA, Kan., Monday, July 20, 2020 — Results of the 2020 Wichita-Sedgwick County Point-In-Time Homeless Count show a 4.4 percent increase in overall homelessness. The number of persons experiencing homelessness included 90.1 percent who were sheltered (staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing) and 9.9 percent who were unsheltered.

The survey represents only a snapshot of homelessness on one specific night (Jan. 29, 2020) using the definition of literal homelessness from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] (see below).

Summary of results of the local 2020 homeless count

  • Total number of homeless persons: 619 compared to 593 in 2019
  • Homeless veterans: 58 compared to 57 in 2019
  • Chronically homeless persons: 48 compared to 20 in 2019
  • Unsheltered homeless persons: 61 compared to 57 in 2019
  • Homeless children under 18 without shelter: none (same as 2019)

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. 30 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. 29. 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.

See chart below.

DEFINITIONS FOR THIS COUNT:

“Homeless”

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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MEDIA CONTACT: Delane Butler, Vice President of Marketing, (316) 267-1321, dbutler@unitedwayplains.org

Year Total number of HOMELESS persons (according to HUD definition) Number of homeless persons who were SHELTERED 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.)

2008 473 445 28
2009 384 352 32
2010 No count No count No count
2011 634 526 108
2012 550 475 75
2013 538 467 71
2014 631 548 83
2015 561 462 99
2016 571 492 79
2017 575 464 111
2018 573 515 58
2019 593 536 57
2020 619 558 61