Annual Homeless PIT count reveals drastic increase during 2020

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The annual Point-In-Time count of the region’s unsheltered homeless population is finally complete. 

The count revealed a large jump in homeless numbers, notably an 81% rise in Hamilton County. 

This count determines the allocation of federal funding to homeless service agencies in 11 surrounding counties. 

These specific numbers reflect the unsheltered homeless, defined as those who live in the streets or in makeshift shelters and are not currently in any agency support program. 

“We had suspected the numbers would be higher based on our own observations with our outreach workers and what they have been seeing and what the community had been reporting to us. We believe this is due Covid but also the lack of affordable housing in our area right now,” says Wendy Winters, Homeless Coalition Executive Director.

 In December 2020, the region was awarded a $4.4 million grant from the state of Tennessee to combat homelessness. When these funds are released, officials are hopeful they will make a direct impact in addressing these rising numbers.

 

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News

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