Last year 9,130 different men and women showed up at shelters, feedings and other homeless service agencies. This is roughly 200 people less than 2009.
If that sounds like a lot, it is.
Mary Frances Schafer with the Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. says the feds are surprised that a city of this size has such a large number of homeless people passing through.
Schafer thinks part of it may be due to Louisville’s relatively moderate weather and proximity to other cities: Nashville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis.
But it could just be that the Coalition’s good at counting. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development only requires that cities complete “point in time” counts once every two years. Essentially, that means volunteers go out and tally who they can find tucked away on the streets, and shelters perform a one night count. Louisville’s point in time count for 2010 only recognized 1,628 people as being homeless.
But, Schafer and Natalie Harris, the Coalition’s Executive Director, say that’s a pretty weak snapshot of what the homeless population looks like, as it doesn’t count those individuals who may have been homeless prior to or after the one night count.
In 2010 the number of homeless families and veterans decreased. But the chronically homeless population along with homeless domestic violence victims rose.
Schafer says impending federal budget cuts could decrease case management services, which in turn could mean Louisville’s homeless population swells in years to come.