At least 313 more Montgomery County residents are experiencing homelessness this year than last year, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) survey report released this week. That represents an increase of 53% over 2022.
The county’s survey counted 894 adults and children experiencing homelessness and residing in shelters or transitional housing, or who were unsheltered. This includes 611 adult-only households and 85 families with children. Though the count shows a significant increase over 2022, there has been a 13% decrease over the past 10 years, according to a county news release.
All nine jurisdictions in the Washington, D.C. metro area that were included in the survey recorded an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness compared with 2022.
Montgomery County’s PIT count was conducted on Jan. 25 and is a snapshot of one given night. Of the 726 adults counted, 29% did not have were not able to demonstrate a loss of housing in Montgomery County. An additional 20% have an assigned housing match but have been unable to sign a lease because of continued barriers with accessing housing, according to the release.
The barriers include a denial due to credit or criminal background or monthly housing costs exceeding program limits in the last two years. In December 2021 and January 2022, an average 162 households were housed in those two months. In this past December and January, only 39 households were able to move into housing, according to the release – a significant decrease.
“While Montgomery County has made significant strides in bolstering support and services for adults, veterans and families experiencing homelessness, we must continue working to make the experience of homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring. We have the right partnerships in place to make this mission a reality,” County Council President Evan Glass (D-At-large) said in the release.
The County’s Continuum of Care (CoC), a public-private partnership led by the county’s Department of Health and Human Services, was able to assist 395 adult-only households and 106 households with children find housing in 2022.
CoC served 1,775 households through emergency shelter, transitional housing and outreach. This included 200 families and 1,575 adult-only households for a total of 2,312 adults and children supported. On the night of the count, CoC was providing 2,906 beds in permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing and other permanent housing options–a 14% increase over 2021.