DWS Press Release
August 8, 2018

Annual report: statewide homelessness numbers remain steady
Unsheltered count down in Salt Lake County, up in Washington County

Salt Lake City, UT (August 8, 2018) — Data from Utah’s annual Point-in-Time Count shows that the number of people experiencing homelessness in the state on a single night in January remained relatively steady from 2017 to 2018. The 2,876 people counted in 2018 represent an increase from the prior year of less than half a percent. 

The Point-in-Time data was released today as a part of Utah’s 2018 Annual Report on Homelessness published by the Housing and Community Development Division of the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

"We're pleased that the latest data shows that we are making progress in our goal for homelessness to be rare, brief and nonrecurring," said Jonathan Hardy, Housing and Community Development Division Director.

The majority of people counted – 85 percent – were in an emergency shelter or transitional housing situation. The remaining 15 percent were sleeping on the street, in a car or some other place not meant for human habitation (known as unsheltered). 

The report shows that nearly half of individuals in an emergency shelter stay for a week or less, and only five percent stay for longer than six months. Families generally take a little bit longer to find housing, with 51 percent moving out of emergency shelter within a month. 

The count also revealed a decrease in unsheltered homeless individuals in Salt Lake County of 25 people, but an increase in Washington County of 98 people. 

The Point-in-Time count is a physical count of all homeless persons who are living in emergency shelters, transitional housing and on the streets on a single night, mandated by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and conducted by the three Continua of Care in the state. For 2018, the count was carried out January 24. While many factors, from the weather to the way the count is organized and performed, influence the results of any given PIT count, the PIT is a useful tool in calculating the community’s need for homeless services on any given night. It is also one of the only tools available for measuring the number of homeless individuals who are not enrolled in homeless service programs.

The full report is available at housing.utah.gov/reports and includes data broken down by county, in addition to statewide data.

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