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2018 Point-in-Time count reveals homeless children, chronically homeless decreased while total homeless increased

2018 Point-in-Time count reveals homeless children, chronically homeless decreased while total homeless increased

The Denton Point-in-Time count for 2018 was released at an event at UNT On the Square Friday evening. The total number of homeless in Denton was revealed to be 255 people, 11 of which are children and 238 are adults. The remaining 6 are unknown according to the surveys conducted. The event also featured information about barriers homeless people face to escape homelessness and what people can do to help. Friday, April 13, 2018, UNT On the Square in Denton, Texas. Jake King/DRC ORG XMIT: txder

2018 Point-in-Time count reveals homeless children, chronically homeless decreased while total homeless increased
April 19
17:53 2018

The 2018 Denton Point-in-Time homelessness count revealed a large drop in the number of homeless children in Denton County, and a slight decrease in the number of chronically homeless individuals.

The count, conducted by the Denton County Homeless Coalition on Jan. 25, identified 255 people as homeless, with 43 percent staying in an emergency shelter and the remaining 57 percent living unsheltered according to the results.

The number of homeless children decreased to 11, down from 34 in 2017. Results showed 33 people are chronically homeless, down from 39 in 2017.

“It’s definitely great that chronic homelessness has gone down, especially because we only have two housing projects in Denton County that are specifically for people that are chronically homeless,” said Hope Nordon, the count’s coordinating committee co-chair. “That’s always amazing news because the longer a person spends on the streets, the harder it is for them to get back into housing.”

Volunteers used an app to conduct this year’s count, which Nordon said makes this year’s count the most reliable and accurate.

“[It’s] different from paper, especially because it uses the geolocation,” Nordon said. “We had a bigger coverage area this year which was great, and we’re hoping to expand next year as well.”

The coalition revealed the count results during a gallery event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at UNT on the Square, highlighting barriers for the homeless.

“The focus is affordable housing,” said Katie Chapman, chair of the count’s coordinating committee. “The focus is not just service providers advocating for affordable housing, but the community in general understanding affordable housing, understanding that [in] Denton County and DFW as a whole, affordable housing virtually impossible to find.”

The Coalition also promoted the barriers fund, which will serve to provide items such as childcare, utilities, mental health services and basic items like socks and bug spray.

“The barriers fund, we’re hoping, can act as a kind of universal thing that different service providers can pull from and say, ‘Hey, my client needs to get his car fixed,’ [or] ‘Hey I need clothing for my client who’s got an interview tomorrow,’ and all of those types of things. [It is] just to help promote stability,” Chapman said.

Roxanne Del Rio, the dean of strategic student initiatives and multicultural outreach for North Central Texas College has volunteered for United Way of Denton for about five years. She attended the event as a volunteer to promote the barriers fund.

Del Rio said she volunteers because she works with students who are homeless and hungry and because it is important for their voices to be represented at coalition meetings.

“[It is] a misconception that people that are homeless are lazy,” Del Rio said. “It could be people that are homeless are working and can’t make the necessary wages to be able to rent because we don’t have enough affordable housing.”

The full results of the 2018 Point-in-Time homelessness count can be viewed on the Denton County Homeless Coalition’s website.

Featured Image: The Denton Point-in-Time count for 2018 was released at an event at UNT On the Square Friday evening. The event featured information about barriers homeless people face to escape homelessness and what people can do to help. Jake King/DRC

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Lizzy Spangler

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