Jan 31, 2013

FromSalt Lake Tribune

Utah Volunteers Fan Out before Dawn for Homeless Count

Population count coincides with nationwide 100,000 Homes survey

By Cathy Mckitrick

Over the next three days, volunteers are hitting the streets, nooks and crannies of the state during predawn hours to help log a point-in-time count of Utah’s homeless population.

They are asking shelter-dwellers and those who continue to camp outside in the elements, "Where did you stay Wednesday night?"

In 2012, Utah’s statistical snapshot was based on where the homeless stayed on Jan. 25. It found 3,527 sheltered and unsheltered individuals that night — a 13 percent increase over the previous year.

Of that total, 331 were chronically homeless. Those numbers were then annualized to estimate a year-round homeless total of 16,522.

Homeless families increased by 21 percent, according to the Utah State Community Services Office.

Utah’s chronically homeless — federally defined as being homeless for a year or longer, or experiencing at least four bouts of homelessness in the last three years and having a disability — decreased by 9 percent in 2012.

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