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April 15, 2013

Count of Sedgwick County’s homeless drops slightly

A snapshot count of homeless people in Sedgwick County shows a 2.2 decrease from a year ago, according to a survey conducted by the United Way of the Plains.

A snapshot count of homeless people in Sedgwick County shows a 2.2 decrease from a year ago, according to a survey conducted by the United Way of the Plains.

The count, which was done on Jan. 31, estimated 538 people in Sedgwick County were homeless on that day – a slight drop from the 550 homeless in 2012.

Of that total, 467 people were living in a shelter and 71 were unsheltered, the report said Monday.

The Sedgwick County homeless count continued using a method that it began in 2011. On a specific day, it takes the count from street surveys and from those who come to Century II for a homeless services event.

In 2011, the point-in-time count showed 634 people were homeless in Sedgwick County.

The count uses the federal definition of a homeless person:

• A sheltered homeless person lives in an emergency shelter or in transitional housing for a person who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters.
• An unsheltered homeless person lives in a place not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings or on the streets.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities to conduct a snapshot count every two years. The data is used to help plan services and programs for local needs.

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