On Thursday, March 18, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) Part 1 to Congress, also known as the “Point-in-Time Count report.”
The report provides a nationwide single-night estimate of homelessness, including information about the demographic characteristics of people experiencing homelessness and the capacity to house homeless persons. While not meant to provide a full picture of the year-round prevalence of homelessness in America, the Point-in-Time (PIT) count provides the most consistent way to measure year-to-year changes in sheltered and unsheltered homelessness.
According to information from Northwest Community Action Partnership, from March 25, 2020 through March 23, 2021 238 people used the NCAP housing programs.
Of these: 25 were under five years of age, 43 were age 5-12, 21 were age 13-17, 18 were age 18-24, 36 were age 25-34, 34 were age 35-44, 22 were age 45-54, 16 were age 55-61 and 23 were 62 and older.
The 2020 PIT Count includes a number of key findings in Nebraska:
•Homelessness is up. There was a 1.6% (39 people) increase in overall homelessness since 2019. The total number of people experiencing homelessness counted in the 2020 PIT: 2,404.
•Unsheltered homelessness is up. Unsheltered homelessness increased 30% (33 people) since 2019. The total number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness counted in the 2020 PIT: 143.
•Family homelessness is up. Homelessness among families with children is up 4.9% (32 people in families) since 2019. The total number of people in families with children experiencing homelessness counted in the 2020 PIT: 682. This is the first time in a decade that across the country family homelessness did not decrease in the PIT count.
•Veteran homelessness is down. Veteran homelessness decreased, down 12.6% (22 veterans) since 2019. The total number of Veterans experiencing homelessness counted in 2020 PIT: 153.
•Chronic homelessness is down. Chronic homelessness among individuals decreased 3.8% (16 individuals) since 2019. The total number of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness counted in the 2020 PIT: 406.
•Youth homelessness is down. The number of youth experiencing homelessness is 1.3 percent lower compared with 2019. The total number homeless youth counted in the 2020 PIT: 149.
•Homelessness and racial equity. People identifying as African Americans and indigenous people, including Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, accounted for 26.2% of all people experiencing homelessness in Nebraska.
The 2020 PIT Count shows that homelessness was increasing even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2019 and 2020, homelessness increased among unsheltered populations and families with children in Nebraska.