PIERRE | The 2017 Statewide Point-in-Time Homeless Count conducted in a 24-hour period on Jan. 24, by the South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium, surveyed sheltered individuals who were staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing or motels paid for by a nonprofit, and unsheltered individuals who were staying in vehicles, on the streets, or in places not meant for human habitation.
While the “snapshot” of homelessness in South Dakota may have been skewed by the date and the fact it came in the wake of a winter storm, state Housing Development Authority Executive Director Mark Lauseng, whose agency helped coordinate the count, said homelessness remains an issue.
“For awareness, we like people to know there is an issue with the homeless in this state,” Lauseng said from his Pierre office. “The takeaway is we don’t really see a 19 percent decrease in homeless in the state. You don’t always get an accurate picture. But overall, homelessness is still an issue in South Dakota.”
Following are the highlights of the 2017 Homeless Count:
• 955, number of homeless individuals in South Dakota in 2017
• 19 percent, decrease in overall homelessness compared with 2016
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• 130, number of homeless veterans in South Dakota in the 2017 count
• 23 percent, increase in number of homeless vets compared with the 2016 count
• 95, number of homeless vets who were sheltered on the night of the count
• 201, number of homeless children in the 2017 count, down 40 percent from 2016
• 7, number of children who were unsheltered on the night of the 2017 count