Homelessness down in Montco

The number of homeless individuals in Montgomery County has dropped 33 percent since 2013, reversing what had been an upward trend.

A point-in-time count conducted on a single night in January found 310 homeless individuals, down from the 464 recorded during the same month in 2013, when homelessness in the county peaked, officials said this week. The count included both those in shelters and those unsheltered, the county said.

Among other findings from the point-in-time report:

  • Eighty-six percent of the at-risk households were diverted from entering an emergency shelter
  • The median length of stay in a shelter rose from 49 days in 2015 to 56 days in 2016.
  • Eighty-six percent of people who moved into permanent housing did not return to homelessness with a two-year period.

The count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to receive HUD funds.

“These new findings are moving in the right direction,” Valerie A. Arkoosh, chair of the County Board of Commissioners, said in a statement.