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One-day survey gives a glimpse of homeless numbers in El Paso County

By: Barbara Cotter barb.cotter@gazette.com
May 9, 2013 Updated: May 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm
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The results of the annual Point-in-Time survey, a one-day count of the homeless population in El Paso County, were released Thursday.

The survey is completed as part of HUD requirements for service agencies to receive federal funding. Because it's basically a one-day snapshot, the survey is only as accurate as the number of people who can be contacted and the information they give. But Anne Beer of Pikes Peak United Way, who heads the survey, said she got 'amazing data quality ' from this year's survey, which was conducted in January; 1,203 people filled out surveys, and only six couldn't be used.

Some highlights:

The number of people identifying themselves as homeless was 1,171, compared with 1,127 in 2012.

The number of unsheltered people dropped from 276 in 2012 to 230 this year because more beds were available. In 2010, when the tent cities were up around Colorado Springs, the number was 572.

Chronic homeless increased from 257 in 2012 to 302 this year, but Beer believes the numbers reflect improved surveying and data collection.

Homelessness among veterans dropped significantly - 150 in 2013, compared with 230 in 2012 - because more permanent, supportive housing was available to them.

The housing and shelter inventory improved in all categories, including emergency shelter. In 2012, there were 1,152 beds, compared with 1,433 this year.

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