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Mayor Bowser Announces Homelessness Is Down 47% Since the Implementation of Homeward DC, Hits 17-Year Low

Thursday, April 21, 2022
2022 Point in Time results show strong progress in driving down homelessness among families and single adults

(Washington, DC)  Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by District and community leaders to announce the results of the 2022 Point in Time (PIT) count, the annual census of individuals experiencing homelessness. This year’s count took place on January 26, 2022. The results show that for the sixth consecutive year, the number of people experiencing homelessness has declined. The overall number of people experiencing homelessness in the District of Columbia decreased 13.7% over the past year and is down 47% from 2016 – the year the Bowser Administration began implementing Homeward DC. The number of people experiencing homelessness during the 2016 PIT count was 8,350 and the number of people experiencing homelessness in 2022 was 4,410 – the lowest recorded going back to at least 2005. In addition to a decline in overall homelessness, the 2022 PIT results show declines in family homelessness (down 14%), homelessness among single adults (down 12%), and chronic homelessness for families (down 26%) and single adults (down 22%).

“These results are a culmination of years of working together – across government, with our community partners and providers, and with residents in all eight wards – to implement Homeward DC and build systems and resources that meet the needs of DC residents,” said Mayor Bowser. “While we are proud of these results, we know there’s more work to do. We know that the pandemic has changed the way people experience homelessness, including more people living in encampments, and we need to be responsive to those changes. With the FY23 budget, we have the funding in place to end chronic homelessness, and in addition to the funding, we have the political will and the community support to make it happen. And we will.”

In 2016, Mayor Bowser began implementing Homeward DC, her Administration’s bold vision and strategic plan to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. Since then, the Bowser Administration has transformed the family homeless services system; made good on the Mayor’s commitment to close DC General and replace it with smaller, service-enriched short-term family housing shelters across DC; launched Homeward DC 2.0, the District’s updated strategic plan; created the CARE pilot which helped expedite housing for residents living in encampments; and opened the new 801 East men’s shelter.

The transformation of the family homeless services system, including significant investments in prevention programs, led to drastic reductions in family homelessness. Since 2016, family homelessness has decreased by 78%.

Homeward DC 2.0 focuses on replicating the success in the family system with single adults, and the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2023 Fair Shot budget includes investments to support the plan, including $31 million to end chronic homelessness. The investment in ending chronic homelessness includes funding for permanent supportive housing vouchers for 500 more individuals, 260 more families, and 10 more youth. It also includes funding to implement system changes, such as the implementation of a streamlined intake system for single adults. The Mayor’s budget also includes $114.6 million for modernizations and renovations to shelters, including the New York Avenue men’s shelter. 

“Mayor Bowser’s proposed FY23 budget continues to invest in solutions to the crisis of homelessness,” said Department of Human Services Director Laura Green Zeilinger. “While I am proud of the work we do to connect District residents to affordable housing, I am especially proud of the system by which we welcome people home – it’s a system consistent with our District values in that it is centered in human dignity. Our residents are deserving of a safe and stable place to call home and we are dedicated to making that vision a reality.” 

The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness (TCP) conducted the PIT count on behalf of the District. The count is a requirement for all jurisdictions receiving federal homeless assistance funding. This single-day enumeration of the homeless services continuum of care provides an opportunity to identify gaps in the current portfolio of services and informs future program planning.

At today’s event, the Mayor and District officials welcomed Donald Brundage, a District resident who recently experienced homelessness, to his new home in Northeast DC. Mr. Brundage moved into an apartment of his choosing and will receive wrap-around services to help him successfully transition to his new home. 


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