Homelessness declined in Wisconsin according to the latest national estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While overall homelessness slightly increased nationally, HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found the follow regarding homelessness across Wisconsin:
In Wisconsin, local communities reported 5,027 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, a decline of 11.6 percent since last year and 20.6 % since 2010. Homelessness among families with children in 2017 (2,382), declined by 14.9 percent (or 417) since 2016 and declined by 27.7 percent (911) since 2010.
Meanwhile, local communities in Wisconsin report the overall number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness has increased 19.6 percent (71) and veterans experiencing homelessness decreased by nearly 21 percent from 2016 and decreased by 46 percent since 2010.
“In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets. This is not a federal problem—it’s everybody’s problem.”
“All individuals deserve to have a safe and decent place to call home,” said Deputy Regional Administrator James A. Cunningham. “While we have made significant strides in reducing the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, we must remain committed to implementing strategies that make it a rare, brief and non-recurring event.”
HUD’s national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation. Every year on a single night in January, planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care” and tens of thousands of volunteers seek to identify the number of individuals and families living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered settings. These one-night ‘snapshot’ counts, as well as full-year counts and data from other sources (U.S. Housing Survey, Department of Education), are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measuring progress toward reducing it.
Key National Findings of HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report:
On a single night in January 2017, state and local planning agencies (Continuums of Care) in Wisconsin reported:
- 5,027 people were homeless representing an overall decrease of 11.6 percent (or 658 persons) from 2016 and a decrease of 20.6 percent decrease (or 1,306 persons) since 2010.
- Most homeless persons, 4,687, (93.2%) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while total 340 persons (7.3%) were unsheltered.
- The number of unsheltered homeless individuals in 2017, 328, decreased by 16.1 percent from 2016 and by 25.8 percent since 2010.
- The number of families with children experiencing homelessness in 2017 (2,382), declined by 14.9 percent (or 417) since 2016 and declined by 27.7 percent (911) since 2010.
- On a single night in January 2017, 329 veterans were experiencing homelessness. Veteran homelessness decreased 20.7 percent (or 86 persons) since January 2016. Since 2010, however, Veteran homelessness in Wisconsin declined by 46 percent in line with the national decrease of 46% nationally since 2010.
- Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals increased 23.9 percent (or 66 persons) over 2016 levels and declined 53 percent since 2010.
- The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2017 is estimated to be 276 youth. This year, HUD and local communities launched a more intense effort to more accurately account for this important, difficult to count population. HUD will treat 2017 as a baseline year for purposes of tracking progress toward reducing youth homelessness.