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Archive for Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Homeless count numbers show few changes in Douglas County

June 4, 2013

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The number of homeless people in Douglas County remained fairly consistent in 2013 as compared with 2011, according to results from the Point-in-Time Homeless Count, which is conducted every two years.

During the count — conducted Jan. 23 and mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD — volunteers fanned out across the county and identified 223 homeless people, down from 226 in 2011. However, the numbers for the past two counts are about double the 112 homeless people identified in 2009.

The number of homeless children identified in the count increased slightly, from 69 in 2011 to 71 in 2013.

The results were reported at a Tuesday morning meeting of the city's Homeless Issues Advisory Committee.

Danielle Dresslar, the city's community development manager, cautioned that the numbers may not reflect the true picture of homelessness and called the results just a "snapshot" of homelessness in Douglas County.

"I think everyone would agree this is a low number," Dresslar said. "Service providers can probably speak to the fact that they're seeing more (homeless clients)."

Loring Henderson, director of the Lawrence Community Shelter, said his shelter has seen numbers consistently near the shelter's capacity of 125 people. Whether homelessness is going up or down much "is hard to say."

"Homelessness is a complicated problem," Henderson said.

During the count, volunteers across the county and the country visited homeless shelters and social service agencies and contacted the homeless in the streets, trying to gauge the scope of homelessness.

New this year in Douglas County, volunteers asked a variety of questions designed to help better understand some of the causes of homelessness.

"It gave us some really good information," Dresslar said.

The additional questions identified job loss, lack of affordable housing, and a medical condition as the most frequent causes of homelessness, as reported by those interviewed.

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Point-in-Time Homeless Count

Chart reflects the number of homeless persons identified in Douglas County during the Point-in-Time Homeless Count, conducted every two years.

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Kansas homeless count numbers

Chart reflects the number of homeless persons identified in Kansas during the Point-in-Time Homeless Count, conducted every two years. The 2013 numbers were not available.

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Causes of homelessness

Causes of homelessness, as identified during the 2013 Point-in-Time Homeless Count in Douglas County. Some factors may overlap.

Comments

Clark Coan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Since it has been definitely confirmed that so many homeless are flocking in from KC and Topeka, a residency requirement for those who want services is appropriate. Lawrence taxpayers and donors shouldn't have to support nonresidents. Ater all, KU students have to prove residency to get in-state tuition. I say they must have resided in Lawrence for three years or more to access services such as a bed at the shelter.

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oneeye_wilbur 10 months, 2 weeks ago

If your restaurant has NO customers, you cannot deduct probable lost income. A landlord cannot deduct the NO rent from a vacant apartment.

Lawrence has some real dummies,

Kinds hard to deduct a loss from NO income!

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oneeye_wilbur 10 months, 2 weeks ago

How does an empty rental unit create a tax write off? wilburbhas thousands of rentals and wants to know how to get a write off for vacant units?

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mseve 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Chuck if i were in a position to create affordable housing and not the my mom and dad pay my rent i would- I like many others pay for my home and try to stay within my means and not fuel the overpriced rental market we have. When I was a renter, i remember trying to find something that was not too expensive for me as a single parent. Back to the article, what are going to do with this information now? We all know I hope, empty units generate no money (nice tax write offs) but they could still be made more reasonable. Like $800 vs $1200 a month

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littlebit1313 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Hate to sound cold about it but is a determination made between the unfortunate who have fallen on hard times or the hardcore homeless types? We need to help the ones who try and ignore professional panhandlers like the ones downtown. Yes I know some will say we should not make a difference but I believe you help those who help themselves and the unfortunates who can not help themselves. Discourage the others.

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fmrl 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Most homeless people can cite five or more of those factors as contributing causes. Families don't take care of their own anymore and that's the biggest factor.

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jhawkinsf 10 months, 2 weeks ago

A self reported survey such as this, if that's how this survey was conducted, isn't worth the paper it's written on.

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Tradways 10 months, 2 weeks ago

They're reasons for homeless chart appears fishy. Only 15 people blame alcohol and 13 for drug abuse, that equals 28 people total seems low and it appears they separated the two, to make substance problems not so big. I'm sure this was all self reported by the homeless so it's not exactly based on fact. I see unemployment as the biggest reason at 53 divorce at 27. In my experience drug and alcohol abuse is the cause for losing a job and being divorced.

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mseve 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Now that reasons for homelessness have been identified, what is going to be done to help those who want to be helped? For example: those people who are saying there is a lack of affordable housing or job loss. Those 2 go hand in hand. If my memory serves me correctly there are a lot of apartments that are vacant. It would not kill the owners to reduce rent for those people who otherwise can not afford them.

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otto 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Wonder how many are from other communities that migrated here.

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oldbaldguy 10 months, 2 weeks ago

what about parolees from kdoc, are they counted as homeless?

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Karl_Hungus 10 months, 2 weeks ago

And here is one for the next few years.....Brownback is the green and of course you can see how welll he is helping...

Sack Brownbag before he totally sacks the state and it's people

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Hugh_Jassle 10 months, 2 weeks ago

The "job loss" is surprising. Never had a hard time finding a job, myself. It May not be the job I want but if its a choice between having a home and not....I'd dig ditches, clean toilets, and a host of other undesirable tasks.

Thousands of Mexicans and others from central and south America risk life and limb to work the jobs that supposedly aren't here.

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FlintlockRifle 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Most of the "town " homeless are great people , just had a bunch of hard luck, some choose to this way also.

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