Louisville, KY (January 31, 2019) – Between 4:00am and 6:00am this morning, in spite of the frigid temperatures, approximately 325 volunteers divided into 4-person teams to blanket the city to complete the 2019 Homeless Street Count. The Street Count is coordinated by the Coalition for the Homeless with support from the Centerstone Kentucky street outreach team. The count is conducted each year in January to verify the number of people sleeping outdoors in Metro Louisville.
A preliminary analysis shows that 118 individuals were counted sleeping outside, compared to 153 counted last January. This represents a 23% decrease in the number of people sleeping outdoors – an important sign of progress, especially given such dangerously cold conditions.
It is also noteworthy that 161 people were counted sleeping indoors at the new low barrier shelter, located at Wayside Christian Mission. “The new low barrier shelter is a tremendous asset,” says Natalie Harris, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “The count this morning demonstrates a need for both more shelter space and more options for different types of shelter. It is proof that we can get people off the streets when we have the political will to do so.”
Those sleeping in emergency homeless shelters were also counted last night in order to create a total one-night count of the homeless in Louisville. Those numbers will be available in the spring, when the Coalition will release a full report reflecting the total sheltered and unsheltered count, as well as the number of people who experienced homelessness at any time during 2018.
This count provides important data – specifically about who the homeless are and where they are sleeping – that the Coalition and its partners use to inform their strategy and dedicate resources. Furthermore, it is used to leverage more than $10 million in federal funding for homeless services in Louisville each year.
The Coalition and a collaborative of over 70 local providers are working to end homelessness among unaccompanied youth and young adults age 24 and under. Over the past several years, the Coalition has also led the community in successfully lowering the number of chronic street homeless and homeless veterans in Louisville through concerted effort and funding for housing targeted to these populations.
“We have taken a step in the right direction, thanks to advocates on Metro Council and concerned neighbors raising their voices,” said Harris. “But we all must continue to advocate for both short- and long-term solutions to the root causes of homelessness.”
For more information, visit www.louhomeless.org or call (502) 636-9550 ext. 213.
About the Coalition for the Homeless
The Coalition for the Homeless, located at 1300 S. 4th Street, Suite 250, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to prevent and eliminate homelessness in Louisville. The Coalition has a three-pronged approach to this mission: advocacy, education, and coordination of their 30+ member agencies who provide a variety of services to the homeless throughout the city. For more information, visit www.louhomeless.org, call (502) 636-9550, or find the Coalition for the Homeless on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LouHomeless.