As part of the nationwide 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, the Asheville-Buncombe County Homeless Initiative has completed its report of the community’s one-night count of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The final report was submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) on May 15.

Asheville’s count was conducted in the afternoon and evening of Jan. 29, 2020. More than two dozen volunteers from Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina and the Charles George VA Medical Center Homeless Services Team participated in the street count. Area shelters, service providers, and housing programs provided additional data.

“The Point-In-Time count provides a year-over-year perspective for HUD to compare what’s happening in communities across the country on a single night,” said Asheville-Buncombe Homelessness Initiative staff liaison Brian Huskey. “But it’s exactly what it says it is — a “point in time” — and doesn’t necessarily represent the full spectrum of how many might experience homelessness throughout the rest of the year. And it doesn’t represent the progress being made toward our goal of ending homelessness.”

The total count for 2020 was 547 persons, down 6% (33 individuals) from 2019. This year’s data are consistent with the past several years, indicating effective homeless and housing services that have been able to prevent an increase in the scale of homelessness despite a tightening housing market. 

The City of Asheville’s priority is to decrease the number of people experiencing homelessness in our community by continuing to develop new resources for permanent, affordable housing.  Last year, the City invested in the Housing Trust Fund and HOME Investment Partnership Program funds in Key Commons, a project of Homeward Bound, which will create 13 units of housing dedicated to people experiencing homelessness. 

 

Some local trends include:

Sub-populations 2019 2020
Chronic homelessness 123 110
Veteran homelessness 256 218
Family homelessness 41 70
Unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults (under age 25)  29 15

 

The full 2020 Point-in-Time report to be released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development later this year will include additional demographic detail and a summary of historic data. 

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