Survey shows El Paso County Homeless population growing - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Survey shows El Paso County Homeless population growing

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - The latest homeless count in El Paso County shows that the local homeless population rose for a third straight year, surpassing numbers recorded eight years ago during the Great Recession.
According to the results released Thursday, 1,551 people agreed to be counted during the annual Point in Time homeless survey across the central Colorado county in January, the highest count in the last 10 years and 88 more people than in 2010.
Homeless advocates say the higher count is due to better surveying.
This year, 180 people volunteered to travel to camps and shelters to count the homeless, 50 percent more volunteers than in 2017.
Homeless advocates say a lack of affordable housing is contributing to the rising homeless population.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Here's the more information from the summary provided by Pikes Peak Continuum of Care:

On the night of January 28, 2018, there were 1,551 total sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness in El Paso County, an increase of 9.6% (136 people) from 2017. The total number of people who were unsheltered increased by 11% from 457 to 513.

Across the total 1,551 people in homelessness, the age range was:

  • 1,180 adults over age 24
  • 140 youth ages 18 to 24
  • 231 children under age 18

Providers have added 217 shelter beds in the community in the past year. There were 652 shelter beds occupied – bringing 116 more people in out of the cold and into emergency shelter than the previous year. Low-barrier options, such as the beds provided at the Springs Rescue Mission, were 100% occupied.

Vacancies continue to exist in cold weather shelter with minimal services and in programs dedicated to special populations with higher barriers, such as families with children.

The count recorded fewer homeless children, both sheltered and unsheltered, with the number of unsheltered children decreasing from 23 in 2017 to nine this year, indicating progress in ending homelessness for households with children.

The community is also showing progress in addressing youth homelessness. Though the number of youth age 18 to 24 increased from 113 to 140, a slightly higher percentage were sheltered (66% in 2018 compared to 60% in 2017). The increase in overall number of youth aligns with annual data from Urban Peak Colorado Springs that showed a 22% increase in youth utilizing outreach services and connecting with shelter and other services.

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