Quarterly homeless count shows more people sleeping outside

There were 165 homeless individuals in the Downtown area on the night of Monday, April 15, according to a count done by the Downtown DC BID. There was a 14.6% increase from 2012 and a 44.7% increase from the quarterly count performed in January 2013. Officials said the uptick may have been because the end of hypothermia season means individuals go from sleeping in shelters to outdoors. BID reported that 12% of respondents to the count requested help to move into permanent supportive housing. Sixty-eight percent of those counted were male, while 20% were female and the gender of 11.5% was unknown. Fifty-seven percent were African American, 12.1% were Caucasian, 1.8% were Hispanic and .6 percent were Asian. The race of 28.5% of the respondents was unknown. Almost 9% were veterans, and 22.5% admitted to having health issues, while 3% had some form of employment. McPherson Square continues to be an area with a high concentration of homeless individuals as city parks often serve as a safe haven and are accessible public space for the homeless. About five volunteers participated in April’s quarterly count, which started at 10:30 p.m. and ended between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m.

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Sat, 22 Nov 2014 22:22:22 -0500

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