August 9, 2018
The number of homeless individuals in Champaign County saw a slight increase over the past year. According to the Point-in-Time Count conducted by the Champaign County Continuum of Care on January 25, 2018, there were 188 persons—including 45 children—in 140 households that were homeless. The count revealed 160 homeless individuals in 2017.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires the Point-in-Time Count in order to provide a snapshot of the state of homelessness throughout the country. Congress then utilizes the data collected from the count to disseminate funds associated with homelessness. The count included people both sheltered (residing in emergency or transitional shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness) and unsheltered (living in spaces not meant for human habitation, such as cars or on the street).
With the assistance of community volunteers, the Champaign County Continuum of Care, a consortium of agencies and governmental units committed to ending homelessness in Champaign County, conducted the Point-in-Time count of the area’s homeless population. They identified 188 homeless individuals from 140 different households. Of the 188 homeless individuals, 179 were sheltered in emergency or transitional housing while nine were unsheltered. The number of unsheltered persons has decreased from the count in 2017; there were 17 identified in 2017. The decrease in the number of unsheltered homeless individuals from the 2017 number is likely due to a 35-bed seasonal men’s emergency shelter that was in full operation at a single location, instead of the rotating location used the year before. Additionally, Cunningham Township’s Homeless Assistance Program was in operation this year.
Twenty households had head of households under age 25, referred to as “youth” households; while 49 total homeless youth were identified from the count.
Out of the 20 youth households, 11 were unaccompanied homeless youth and nine were households with a parent under age 25 with children. Of the 11 unaccompanied youth, two were under age 8 and sheltered at Crisis Nursery, and nine were between the ages of 18 and 24.
Completed annually, the homelessness Point-in-Time survey helps local homeless service providers measure the effectiveness of existing services and identify additional approaches for shelter and housing options.