The Washtenaw Housing Alliance has released an annual report on homelessness in the county, finding that more than 4,000 people were homeless in 2011 – including about 1,000 children. [.pdf of full WHA report]
The report stated that nearly 56% of the homeless adults last year were employed, with most of them reporting an income of less than $500 a month. The number of homeless in Washtenaw County decreased about 7% between 2009-2011, a change that’s attributed in part to a $1.3 million federal grant to fund the two-year Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program. Funding for that program has ended.
The report found that 52% of homeless people in Washtenaw County are African-American. The most frequent reasons for homelessness in families included eviction, loss of a job or underemployment, and family issues. For individuals, reasons most often cited are unemployment, jail/prison, and substance use disorders. Veterans accounted for about 6% of people who experienced homelessness and who were provided services in 2011.
The data from this report was gathered from programs that provide services to people who are homeless in Washtenaw County, including emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, programs providing supportive services, short-term rental assistance and permanent supportive housing programs. The Washtenaw Housing Alliance is overseeing the county’s 10-year plan to eliminate homelessness, which was published in 2004. [.pdf of Blueprint to End Homelessness] [.pdf of blueprint progress report]