DWS Press Release
April 28, 2015

Utah’s Chronic Homelessness Approaching “Functional Zero”
State Achieves Goal Ten Years in the Making

SALT LAKE CITY - Chronic homelessness in Utah is now approaching "functional zero", state officials announced today following a decade-long effort to address the issue. Chronic homelessness has decreased by 91 percent, from nearly 2,000 individuals in 2005 to 178 individuals identified in the 2015 statewide Point-In-Time count, conducted annually on the fourth Thursday in January. Functional zero means there is a system in place to help connect chronically homeless individuals with housing resources.

"We know these 178 individuals by name. We know their situation and we can help them move out of chronic homelessness, if they choose," said Gordon Walker, director of Utah's Housing and Community Development Division within the Department of Workforce Services. "We are only at this point because of the great work and partnerships with local communities, service providers, advocacy groups and volunteers who have cared about the individual, not the Since 2005, state officials and numerous partners throughout the state have collaborated to improve methods in tracking and providing the most appropriate services to the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness".

A key initiative to this success was the implementation of the Housing First model, which combines housing with supportive treatment services in mental and physical health, substance abuse, education and employment.

For more information about Utah's homelessness programing, visit jobs.utah.gov/housing.