Evansville and Vanderburgh County Continue Important Reductions in Veteran and Chronic Homelessness

The Commission on Homelessness for Evansville and Vanderburgh County and the regional Homeless Service Council today announced the results of the 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) count of homelessness for the region that includes Evansville and Vanderburgh County. This year’s results illustrate the community’s continued progress in reducing veteran and chronic homelessness.  

Veteran Homelessness – Veteran households experiencing homelessness declined 28% year-over-year, from 45 in 2019 to 32 in 2020.  In addition, our community has reported zero chronically homeless Veteran families with minor children for the past two years. 

Chronic Homelessness – The community continued to reduce the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness – from 35 in 2019 to 31 in 2020, an 11% decline – after recording a 38% drop the year before. Our region has reduced chronic homelessness by 71% since 2015. HUD defines chronic homelessness as someone who has experienced homelessness for one year or longer, or has experienced four separate occurrences of homelessness over the past three years that total one year or more.

Officials attributed these declines to the creation of housing facilities and programs dedicated to Veterans experiencing homelessness, and strategic investments in permanent supportive housing (PSH) facilities for the chronically homeless operated by ECHO Housing and Aurora.  Effective regional and local collaboration on strategies to prevent and end homelessness – and local adoption of Indiana’s Coordinated Entry system – also contributed to these reductions.

“As this year’s numbers demonstrate, Evansville is achieving real progress in our work to eliminate veteran and chronic homelessness,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, President of the Commission on Homelessness. “Our significant reductions in both of these areas are a testament to the close coordination between our regional planning organizations, homeless housing and service agencies, emergency shelters, law enforcement, and healthcare providers.”

In 2020, the number of households experiencing homelessness declined 6% year-over year, from 433 to 407. The number of individuals experiencing homelessness was largely unchanged, increasing 2% to 488 versus 477 in 2019, after increasing by 12% the previous year.

Point in Time Count High-Level Results – 2015-2020

2020—488 individuals. 31 chronically homeless – down 11% from 2019 and, 71% since 2015.

2019—477 individuals. 35 chronically homeless.

2018—427 individuals.  56 chronically homeless.

2017—428 individuals.  56 chronically homeless.

2016—495 individuals.  77 chronically homeless.

2015—462 individuals.  105 chronically homeless.

About the Regional Point-in-Time Count

The annual Point in Time (PIT) count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for metropolitan areas receiving HUD funding to address homelessness. Usually held on the fourth week in January, PIT counts the number of individuals experiencing homelessness who live in shelters or in places not meant for human habitation. This year’s PIT count began on the evening of January 22, 2020 and concluded early the following morning.  Our region’s PIT count is conducted by Aurora’s Homeless Outreach Team, volunteers, agencies and shelters, including the Evansville Police Department, United Caring Services, the House of Bread and Peace, Ozanam Family Shelter, Evansville Rescue Mission, the YWCA, and the Albion Fellows Bacon Center, among others. 

Our area’s Regional Planning Council on Homelessness – Region 12 – includes the counties of Knox, Daviess, Gibson, Pike, Dubois, Posey Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer, and Perry.

About the Commission on Homelessness

The Commission on Homelessness for Evansville and Vanderburgh County was formed in 2005 to direct and facilitate the implementation of strategic actions to prevent and end homelessness in our community. The Commission includes representatives of local non-profit and civic organizations, City and County government, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, the United Way of Southwestern Indiana, and homeless services and housing organizations, among others. Together, they provide leadership for local implementation of national programs and resources to address homelessness, including housing initiatives, coordinated entry and other community-wide homeless processes, homeless diversion and prevention programs and related matters.  For more: www.evansvillehomeless.org/ and www.facebook.com/evvhomeless/

Contacts:

Danette Romines – Homeless Services Council

(812) 428-3246

dromines2auroraevansville.org

 

Timothy G. Weir, APR – Commission on Homelessness

(248) 568-9524

gsgcomm@gmail.com