(Washington, DC) – Tonight, Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the District’s Point in Time (PIT) Count, the annual census of persons and families experiencing homelessness. Each winter, the PIT Count is conducted by The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness and community volunteers to engage residents experiencing homelessness and connect them to resources and services available in the District. In May, a final 2020 PIT Count report will be released by the Council of Governments, alongside count results for other jurisdictions in the region.
“As we continue working to end homelessness in Washington, DC, the residents we talk to tonight and the information we collect will help us ensure we’re building the right programs and funding the right resources to get all Washingtonians into safe, permanent housing ,” said Mayor Bowser. “Every day, we have outreach teams in the community building relationships and connecting unsheltered residents to the services, shelter, and housing opportunities they need to thrive. Our work continues until every person in our city has a place to call home.”
Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes more than $91 million for new and upgraded emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing facilities including $40 million to rebuild the 801 East Men’s Shelter; $11 million to complete Short-term Family Housing programs in Wards 1 and 3; $10.7 million to complete enhancements to the New York Avenue Men’s Shelter; and, $4.1 million for critical upgrades to low-barrier shelters in the District.
“Ending homelessness requires the collective will and effort of government, nonprofit and private sector partners working together,” said DC Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger. “We continue strengthening our resources and supports to meet our most vulnerable neighbors’ unique needs, barriers and strengths, and help them transition into stable housing.”
The 2019 PIT Count results indicated a 5.5% reduction in the overall number of persons experiencing homelessness in 2018, and a 45% decrease in family homelessness since 2016. Chronic homelessness in the District has declined by 13.5% and is at its lowest rate in 15 years.
Since the launch of Homeward DC – Mayor Bowser’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness – 5,000 individuals and 4,600 families have exited homelessness to permanent housing in the last four years; the Homelessness Prevention Program has diverted 6,411 families from experiencing a shelter stay; Mayor Bowser has increased investments in Permanent Supportive Housing by 60%; and, expanded year-round access to shelter.