The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the Commonwealth of Virginia’s homeless assistance resources (state and federal). These resources include approximately $15.5 million in state and federal annual funding:
• To reduce the number of individuals/households who become homeless;
• To shorten the length of time an individual or household is homeless; and
• To reduce the number of individuals/households who return to homelessness
In the spring of 2016, DHCD released a competitive grant application that combined state and federal funding sources (HUD Emergency Solutions Grant and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS/HIV along with State General Funds for homeless assistance and homeless prevention). In order to apply and receive these funds, communities were required to submit community-based applications that outlined a local spending plan where specific activities and grantees were identified. DHCD continued to contract with individual organizations that provide assistance to each community’s homeless crisis response system.
Virginia continues to make progress toward the aforementioned goals. Each year during the last ten days in January, Virginia participates in a national point-in-time (PIT) count to identify the number of homeless persons who are sheltered and unsheltered. This count provides a 24-hour snapshot of those who are homeless in Virginia. The DHCD collects, aggregates, and analyzes state level PIT data to inform grant making, best practices, and trends across the commonwealth.
The 2017 PIT count (*1) on January 25, identified 6,067 persons (adults and children) who were homeless. Since 2010, there has been a 33 percent decrease in the number of homeless persons, a 46.5 percent decrease in households with children, and a 42.7 percent decrease in chronic homeless identified during the PIT count. In addition, since 2011, there has been a 48.6 percent decrease in veteran homelessness with a 42 percent decrease in unsheltered veterans. _______________________________ (*1) 2017 PIT count numbers are preliminary
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