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Study to count Mohave County’s homeless population

January 13, 2019

A census of sorts will occur throughout Mohave County later this month.

Volunteers will seek help from the region’s homeless population for an annual survey to get an accurate count of the number of people living without shelter in Mohave County.

According to Terry Baughn, of the Mohave County Housing Authority, volunteers will offer homeless residents an opportunity to answer a seven-page survey that will examine how long each has been homeless, the number of times they’ve been homeless and why, respectively. Baughn says the study will focus on four homeless demographics, including runaways and homeless youth; chronically-homeless individuals; veterans; and the survivors of domestic violence and trafficking.

“We asked them about one night out of the year,” Baughn said. “It’s a snapshot … the information we gather will be sent to the Arizona Department of Housing, and that information will be sent to (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).”

The County’s annual point-in-time survey will take place Jan. 23 to Jan. 27, and will focus on people who were homeless as of Jan. 22. According to Baughn, data of the study has in prior years been used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement programs that have curbed homelessness nationwide.

According to the Arizona Housing Authority, the 2018 Point-in-Time homelessness study recorded 8,947 homeless residents statewide, with 2,459 homeless people in families with children. Of Arizona’s homeless, 578 were unaccompanied children, 970 were veterans and 1,463 were identified as chronically homeless.

The Arizona Housing Authority said in its 2018 report that the number of Arizona’s homeless fell 7.8 percent since 2017, and was 34.7 percent lower than in 2010.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, however, national statistics showed the number of homeless U.S. residents had increased by 0.3 percent from 2017-18. The number of homeless veterans nationwide decreased by about 5 percent during that timeframe, and was almost 50 percent lower than in 2009.

Residents who want to learn more about the Mohave County’s Point-in-Time survey and how to volunteer this month can contact the Mohave County Office of Community Development at 928-753-0723, extension 4395.

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