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Annual Point-in-Time Count sees slight increase in homelessness in Ada County

The results of the 2023 annual snapshot count of Ada County's homeless residents show a 6% increase from 2020, the last time a full, in-person count was completed.

ADA COUNTY, Idaho — This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.

The results of the 2023 annual snapshot count of Ada County's homeless residents show a 6% increase from 2020, the last time a full, in-person count was completed.

This year’s Point-in-Time Count found a total of 687 people experiencing homelessness in the county, according to a press release from Our Path Home. The count, which is an annual one-night survey of individuals experiencing homelessness conducted nationwide, took place on the night of Jan. 25 and was the first full count completed since 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of housing have had a significant impact on our community. The PIT Count is one of a few data points showing that more of our residents are experiencing homelessness than in the previous year,” Casey Mattoon, Our Path Home manager, said in the release. “This data must be a call to action for our state and local governments, philanthropic partners, and community members to make it a top priority to increase support for evidence-based, holistic housing solutions.”

Our Path Home, a public-private partnership that aims to address homelessness in Ada County, conducted the local count. The data is likely an undercount, the release states, because the total number of community members who have been accessing shelter, support services and seeking housing assistance in 2023 is larger than what the count shows.

The count found that the number of residents accessing emergency shelters rose from 540 in 2022 to 572, and the number of those who were unsheltered rose from 80 to 115. Around 7.4% of those experiencing homelessness were between the ages of 18 and 24 and 7.2% were under 18, the count found.

Around 12% of households counted were families with children; there were 43 unaccompanied youth counted.

The percentage of those counted as chronically homeless, which The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines as being continuously homeless for a year or more, has increased since 2020, the data dashboard shows. The count found 28% experienced chronic homelessness, with 130 in emergency shelters and 64 unsheltered.

Overall, the county has seen an 8% reduction in homelessness since 2012.

This year’s count was conducted by a group of staff and trained volunteers, the release said. Surveyors collected demographic information of those community members experiencing homelessness, including race, ethnicity, age, veteran status, and number of years experiencing homelessness.

Our Path Home analyzes the results of the count with additional data points from its Homeless Management Information System to assess progress in Ada County’s local homeless response system. 

This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.

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