Idaho's homeless population drops by nearly 10%

The count might have been impacted by the harsh winter.

Idaho’s homeless population is down nearly 10% compared to 2016. Although, it may be down, there’s still about 2,000 people living on the streets or in shelters across the state.

The point-in-time count helps give the Idaho Housing and Finance Association an idea of just how many people are homeless in our state. The count showed a little more than 800 unsheltered and sheltered homeless in Ada County. Region Three, which is comprised of nine counties, including Canyon, Elmore, and Boise shows nearly 500 homeless.

Brady Ellis, the Vice President of Housing and Support Programs, says this year’s point-in-time was very complicated because of the severity of January’s winter weather.

“We believe there's a considerably number of more homeless individuals," Ellis said. "An episode of homeless can occur at any time and it could be brief or it could be long term. Those individuals may be in shelter or on the street. So there's a lot of variables there in terms of identifying them and being able to include them in the numbers we use."

IHFA has teamed up with a number of different agencies, including St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus, the city of Boise, and Ada County to combat homelessness in the valley. Later this month, they’re expected to break ground on the New Path Community Housing Project, which will provide housing for 40 of those who are chronically homeless.

The point-in-time count is something that’s required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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