Last week, we shared with you the The National Alliance to End Homelessness' new report, The State of Homelessness in America 2012 (you can view the highlights here.)
This week, we'd like to share with you the trends from DC as well as what we're seeing at Miriam's Kitchen.
Here's what's happening in DC:
- There are 6,546 homeless individuals on any given night in DC, an increase of 5% from 2009.
- The number of chronically homeless individuals increased by 9% from 2009 to 2011.
- The number of homeless families increased by 17% from 2009 to 2011.
- The number of homeless veterans decreased by 20% in the last two years.
What we're seeing at Miriam's Kitchen:
- Our guest population continues to consist primarily of chronically
homeless individuals. We have also seen an increase in the number of
families we're serving.
- The number of guests we're providing case management services to has
gone up by 23% from 2010.
- The number of meals we're serving is down slightly from 2010. We served an average of 273 meals per day in 2011 vs. an average of 289 per day in 2010. We attribute this change to two factors: the relocation of emergency shelters to the outskirts of town has made it difficult for guests to join us for breakfast, and 150-200 of our guests are now in permanent supportive housing and no longer dependent upon our meals.
The numbers don't tell the whole story, but what we're seeing in DC is troubling. Homelessness is on the rise in DC and is predicted to get worse before it gets better.
If DC hadn't been making the significant investments in housing solutions that they have been the past few years, the increases we're seeing now would be even higher. That's why we know that permanent supportive housing is the answer for our guests, and why we'll continue to provide the highest-quality services possible while advocating for the permanent supportive housing our guests need to survive.