Preliminary results from annual homeless census

Feb 9, 2015

Preliminary information shows the number of homeless people in Cincinnati and Hamilton County declined slightly during a point-in-time count last month.  

The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities to make the count once a year during the last week of January.  

Kevin Finn with Strategies to End Homelessness said this year there 1,029 people counted compared to 1,043 last year.

“Last year we had 733 people in emergency shelter and this year it was 671,” Finn said.  “Last year we had 293 people in transitional housing and this year it was 308.  Last year we encountered 17 people sleeping outdoors on the street and this year it was 50.”

Finn says the numbers are still being refined to eliminate people who may have been counted twice.  Final figures are expected next month.

Finn told a city council committee Monday there were fewer people in shelters, but an increase in the number of people on the streets.

“Many of the people who I encountered knew about the winter shelter, had been to the winter shelter,” Finn said.  “But because it wasn’t that cold and we hadn’t had much snow on this particular night, they weren’t in the winter shelter.  So I think some of that would explain the increase in the number of people on the street.”

Finn said the count is held at the end of January because more people are in shelters, which makes the count easier.

HUD uses the data to determine where federal grants should go to assist the homeless.

(WVXU's Bill Rinehart contributed to this story.)