Sussex County Completes 9th Point in Time Homeless Count
Sussex County completed its 9th "Point in Time" homeless survey count on January 25, 2012. This homeless count is completed annually on a standardized date throughout the state in order to get a snapshot of the homeless population in our County on one given day. The Point in Time survey provides the human service community, county government and officials, volunteers and the general public an unduplicated count of our homeless and chronically homeless, according to HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Development) definition, in our County on that date. This data is used for planning, Needs Assessments, for service decisions and funding applications & proposals.
The 2012 Point in Time report has just been completed and some interesting trends have been identified. One notable trend is the increase in the number and percentage of respondents who are either living on the street or who didn't know where they would spend the night. Another trend was disclosed in the factors contributing to the homelessness problem. Among the HUD homeless, the breakup of a relationship/death was clearly the most common factor cited (52.5% of the total HUD population). The second most frequent factor was the high cost of housing, cited by 41.7% of all HUD respondents.
Another finding of significance is the reduction in the number and percentage of homeless children, which has dropped by 35-38% over the two previous years, while the total number of homeless only dropped by about 25% for the same time period. A further area of note is the sharp increase in the number of homeless with no source of income. By definition, these are all HUD homeless. There were 29 individuals (24.2%) who have no source of income and of these, 3 are chronically homeless.
Stephen Gruchacz, Administrator for the Sussex County Department of Human Services said, "Understanding the data surrounding the Point in Time homeless count is critical for all service providers. In these difficult economic times the effective collection and analysis of collected data leads to appropriate use of resources and program planning. Without the data, an effective response is challenged. This community-wide effort lays the foundation for planning and service delivery."
Human Service agencies will be reviewing this data in partnership with county government to try to detect trends on the local level within the past nine years of collecting the Point in Time data in order to effectively plan for next year's count, utilize existing resources for current homeless services and advocate for future services. For more information, please contact Christine Florio, Human Services Advisory Council Coordinator, at (973) 948-6000 ext. 1381 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the complete 2012 Sussex County Point in Time report