WHITE PLAINS, NY — County Executive Robert P. Astorino today announced this year’s Point-In-Time (PIT) survey showed that Westchester’s homeless population is down significantly since 2014 with one category – chronically homeless households — down 36%. “These results validate our efforts across the board to get the homeless into permanent housing,” said Astorino. “Shelters are necessary, but they are only a temporary solution. By focusing on the homeless as individuals, and aggressively addressing their needs and challenges, we have significantly reduced the time it takes to transition from shelters to permanent housing. That’s a win for everybody.”
The PIT survey showed chronically homeless households in Westchester down 36% from 205 in 2014, to 131 in 2016. The same study reflected a drop in total homeless numbers from 2,138 to 1,750, a decrease of 18.2% over the same period.
Required by HUD, the Point-in-Time (PIT) count includes sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons and is taken on a single night in January. All homeless persons in emergency shelter or transitional housing are included in the annual count along with an actual count of the unsheltered.
In Westchester, the count is planned, coordinated and carried out by members of the Continuum of Care Partnership for the Homeless, which comprises non-profit agencies and the County Departments of Community Mental Health, Health and Social Services. The count includes all persons receiving Temporary Housing Assistance from the county Department of Social Services as well as those who are not WCDSS customers.
Karl Bertrand, co-chair of the Partnership said, “Westchester is a leader in the national effort to end chronic homelessness. Achieving this 36% reduction in just two years is a testament to the effectiveness of the collaboration among county departments and housing and service agencies to save lives by successfully rehousing the most vulnerable.”
Data supplied to HUD in support of these top-line figures is expected to soon be available in tabular form on the HUD website.