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Annual count shows homelessness on rise in Washtenaw County

Delonis Center
Shelter Association of Washtenaw County
Delonis Center

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Washtenaw County has gone up over the last year. That is the results of the county’s annual countcoordinated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Every year, during the last week of January, the county conducts a “point in time” count of everyone who is found unsheltered. They combine that with the database of people who are receiving services from Washtenaw County to come up with the number.

This year, 469 people were experiencing homelessness.

Andrew Kramer is a data policy specialist with the county’s Office of Community and Economic Development. He says there wasn’t a big change in the number of people who were counted on the street.

“But we have another way of counting homelessness, which is a real time list of everyone we know in the county experiencing homelessness. And by that method of counting, we have seen about a 50% increase in people experiencing homelessness in Washtenaw County with most of the growth occurring among families with children.”

As of April of this year, the county’s homelessness numbers have increased by almost 21% from the end of January.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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