Census Shows 19 percent Rise in Unsheltered Homeless
The census of the homeless results released today show there were 3,608 “unsheltered” homeless people, an increase of 19.2 percent (581 more people) over 2009. The unsheltered homeless are those living on the streets, in vehicles or other makeshift shelters not meant for human habitation.
Conducted in January, the census results also report 592 more “hidden” homeless people who were living on private property possibly in vehicles, tents or garages, an 18 percent increase over 2009, when 3,307 hidden homeless were counted.
In January 2009, there were 7,004 “sheltered” homeless in Southern Nevada. Two years later, there are 3,762 sheltered homeless here – a 46 percent decrease. Those considered sheltered homeless include emergency shelter and transitional housing programs provided by local nonprofits or temporary housing assistance funded by local government.
Despite the increases in two census categories, the total number of homeless people in Southern Nevada has decreased 15 percent since 2009. Overall, there were about 2,000 fewer homeless people in 2011 than in 2009 (11,269 compared to 13,338).
“While the number of unsheltered and hidden homeless individuals increased, we need to acknowledge our regional efforts among service providers, local government, faith-based partners and the local business sector,” SNRPC Regional Initiatives Coordinator Tyrone Thompson said. “If such collaborations and partnerships did not exist, these two categories would have been significantly higher. As well, we would not have seen a decrease in the total number of homeless residents. There is still much work to do as our community remains focused on ending homelessness.”
A census of the homeless in Southern Nevada is a prerequisite to qualifying for federal grants for homeless programs. The homeless census also provides key data indicating the need for such programs and provides a benchmark to measure regional efforts.
The homeless census is conducted every two years under the direction of the Regional Initiatives Office, and with the assistance and support of Clark County, the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City, Clark County School District, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada Homeless Alliance, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services. These agencies and organizations comprise the SNRPC’s Committee on Homelessness, which oversees the Regional Initiatives Office.
For more information about Southern Nevada’s efforts to end homelessness visit www.HelpHopeHome.org.
Homeless Census Results
Year 2007 2009 2011
Street Count 3,747 3,027 3,608
Shelter Count 3,844 7,004 3,762
Hidden Homeless 3,826 3,307 3,899
Total 11,417 13,338 11,269