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Norristown, PA (April 16, 2018) – Homelessness in Montgomery County has decreased by 37 percent since 2013, as measured by the annual Point-in-Time Count. The count, conducted on the night of Jan. 31, 2018, identified 291 individuals sleeping in one of the county’s emergency shelters, transitional housing projects, or outdoors.
Twenty individuals were located outside during the count, a total that has remained nearly unchanged for the past three years. Teams of volunteers assisted, offering supplies to any homeless individuals located outdoors, such as blankets, food, and water, as well as transportation to available Code Blue shelters.
“Your Way Home’s success in reducing homelessness demonstrates the impact of what we can achieve when nonprofits, government, philanthropy, and the community work together towards a shared vision. Our initiative is successful because of the collective work that all of our partners have done over the last four years to more effectively respond to the crisis of homelessness,” said Emma Hertz, Administrator for the Office of Housing and Community Development.
Since 2013, Montgomery County’s count of homeless families has fallen by nearly 50 percent, and homelessness amongst children has dropped by approximately 40 percent. Homelessness in the United States has trended downward with a 6.4 percent decrease through 2017. Additionally, homelessness in Pennsylvania, outside Montgomery County, has also dropped by 5.4 percent.
Your Way Home, the public-private partnership dedicated to ending homelessness in Montgomery County, formally launched in January 2014. Prior to its inception, homelessness was on the rise in the county. The organization attributes the 5-year decline to implementing strategic organizational changes made to embrace a “housing first” approach to ending homelessness.
The Housing First approach helps individuals find or maintain permanent housing with stability and then connects them with the community, health, human, and financial services they need to prevent future experiences of homelessness. Through these actions, homeless services are targeted to residents with the highest level of need. Individuals living in unstable housing situations are offered a service called Housing Counseling, which provides light-touch case management and problem-solving solutions to help residents avoid entering an emergency shelter.
For more information, contact Blair Dawson, Community Relations Manager, Your Way Home at 610-278-3929 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.