Officials: Local homeless population shrinking
Homelessness is decreasing in Forsyth County, according to two different measures released this week.
The 2013 Point-in-Time Count taken on January 30 shows that the chronically homeless population in Forsyth County has decreased by 58 percent since 2005, the year before the City of Winston-Salem and the Forsyth County adopted the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.
In 2005, there were 194 chronically homeless individuals in the community based on the Point-in-Time Count taken on Jan. 26, 2005. The 2013 Point-in-Time Count showed that there were 82 chronically homeless individuals.
The Point-in-Time Count is the annual homeless assessment required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A report released by Forsyth Futures using Point-in-Time Count data and information from the Carolina Homeless Information Network (CHIN), found a local decrease of 40 percent in homelessness between January 2011 and January 2013.
The Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness is overseen by a commission jointly appointed by the city and the county and staffed by the United Way of Forsyth County.
“I am exceptionally pleased to release this information. Our Ten Year Plan continues to be among the most successful anywhere in the nation,” said Mayor Allen Joines. “This dramatic decrease in homelessness is the result of six years of focused, collaborative work by numerous community organizations, and I thank them all.”
United Way of Forsyth County President/CEO Cindy Gordineer said her agency is committed to continuing the fight.
“Lifting individuals and families from homelessness changes their lives in countless ways and makes our community a better place for all of us,” she said. “Since 2006, our United Way has helped leverage more than $6.5 million to implement the goals of the Ten Year Plan.”