On the evening of January 28, 2019, Metro Denver Homeless Initiative (MDHI) conducted the 2019 Point in Time (PIT) count, alongside stakeholders and volunteers across the region. This count occurs annually nationwide during the last ten days in January and is regionally referred to as Everyone Counts. The data is used to inform HUD and provide a snapshot of homelessness on a given night in the winter, which provides information on the scope of homelessness in metro Denver, increases community understanding and helps inform efforts to respond to the needs of our un-housed neighbors.
Key points include the following:
During the 2019 PIT, the seven-county metro Denver region counted 5,755 total people experiencing homelessness.
946 people reported staying in locations considered to be unsheltered, such outside in tents, parks, vehicles or underpasses. This is a 28 percent decrease from last year.
4,809 people reported staying in sheltered locations, such as emergency shelters and transitional housing, a 17 percent increase from 2018.
There are many variables to consider in a one-day count, and this year the weather seemed to have an effect. It was significantly colder than the 2017 and 2018 counts.
Families with children under 18 accounted for 24 percent of the overall population that night for a total of 1,402 persons, or 429 households.
Additional efforts were made to connect those who identified as veterans to services and housing. 627 people surveyed identified as being veterans. The metro Denver Built for Zero team is committed to a 50 percent decrease in veteran homelessness by the end of 2019.
The community greatly increased its efforts to better identify and survey those living in both sheltered and un-sheltered locations. Key strategies included the following:
Increased local engagement and agency participation across the region.
Seventeen magnet events held throughout the region offered incentives such as hot meals, showers, and cold weather gear to encourage persons less engaged with homeless services to attend and be counted.
Enhanced coordination, mapping, and evaluation of outreach for un-sheltered persons living in tents, parks, vehicles, and underpasses.
Several communities held local committees to more thoroughly plan and coordinate their efforts.
Alignment of the Point in Time sheltered count to fully match the Housing Inventory Count, now easily available to the public, and detailed to the county and project level.
Each year, MDHI works to improve the accuracy of this HUD-required count by adjusting methodology and engaging the community in more in-depth efforts. Interested parties can visit mdhi.org/pit_reports for more information and to read the full regional and county-specific reports.
About MDHI: Metro Denver Homeless Initiative is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to lead and advance collaboration to end homelessness in our region. In 2018, MDHI, as the Continuum of Care, leveraged over $26M in HUD-funded housing resources and supportive services for individuals, youth, families, and Veterans experiencing homelessness across metro Denver.
Learn more at www.mdhi.org.