RD542 - Virginia’s Homeless Programs - 2017-18 Program Year

Executive Summary:

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the Commonwealth of Virginia’s homeless assistance resources (state and federal). These resources include approximately $16 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 a household is homeless; and
• To reduce the number of individuals/households who return to homelessness.

In the spring of 2017, DHCD released a renewal grant application that combined state and federal funding sources (HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grant and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS/HIV, along with State General Funds for homeless assistance and homelessness prevention). In order to apply and receive these funds, communities were required to submit community-based applications that outlined a local spending plan in which 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 these 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. DHCD collects, aggregates, and analyzes state level PIT data to inform grant making, best practices, and trends across the commonwealth. The 2018 numbers reported here are preliminary, as HUD has not released the official PIT report upon the writing of this report.

The 2018 PIT count on January 24, identified 6,022 persons (adults and children) who were homeless.(*1) Since 2010, there has been a 33.6 percent decrease in the number of homeless persons, a 44 percent decrease in homeless households with children, and a 46 percent decrease in the number of persons who are chronically homeless identified during the PIT count. In addition, since 2011, there has been a 47.5 percent decrease in veteran homelessness with a 48 percent decrease in the number of unsheltered homeless veterans.
(*1) 2018 PIT count numbers are preliminary