Louisville 2018-19 Homeless Numbers Released

LOUISVILLE, KY (April 18, 2019) – The Coalition for the Homeless is releasing the results of the 2018 Louisville Homeless Census and January 2019 Point-in-Time Count. These reports show the numbers of persons served by Jefferson County’s homeless service providers, including outreach teams that work with those living on the streets. The annual census reports services to 6,986 unduplicated homeless people between October 1, 2017 and September 31, 2018, as compared to 6,695 in 2017, which is a 4.3% increase. 

This year’s single-day, point-in-time count showed an increase in the number of people sleeping in emergency shelters and a decrease in the number of people sleeping on the streets. The count was conducted on the coldest day in decades, shortly after the opening of a new low-barrier shelter, which has served up to 161 people per night. The number of unsheltered people served throughout the year decreased by 18% (from 774 in 2017 to 632 in 2018). At the same time, there was a 7% increase in the number of sheltered individuals served throughout the year. “While the visibility of street homelessness has drastically risen in the last two years, it is not necessarily true that the number of those sleeping in camps or on the streets has risen. Homeless individuals are having greater difficulty finding safe locations for homeless camps and many see greater security in well-lit downtown sites where they believe there is safety in numbers,” says Natalie Harris, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless. 

“We are all aware that we have a homelessness crisis in Louisville. This problem will only get worse through the proposed cuts to preventative services that are currently funded by Metro Government,” said Harris. “We need the community to step up and demand that vital resources provided by the Department of Resilience and Community Services, the External Agency Funds, and Neighborhood Development Funds are preserved.” 

One other staggering statistic from the report is the continuing increase in the number of homeless persons reporting domestic violence. The number of persons served who reported being victims of domestic violence has increased from 879 in 2014 to 1,584 in 2018. These numbers strongly support the need for more violence prevention in our community along with homeless services. Additional facts about homelessness in Louisville include:

  • At 4.82 percent, Louisville’s eviction rate is two times that of the national average. Fourteen households are evicted each day.
  • Between 40 and 70 homeless families are on the waiting list for emergency shelter each night; throughout 2018 there were 1,039 unduplicated families who spent time on this waiting list.
  • 1,071 total homeless people were counted on January 30, 2019. 953 were counted staying in emergency shelters and 118 were sleeping outdoors, even during a polar vortex.
  • There are 76 unaccompanied homeless young adults (age 24 and under) in our city. This represents a 67% reduction since 2017, thanks to an initiative to end young adult homelessness led by the Coalition.
  • There are 13,092 families on the Section 8 waiting list in Louisville/Jefferson County.

A breakdown of homeless persons counted during the Point-in-Time count on January 30, 2019: 

Street / Unsheltered Totals
Persons: 118 (All were singles)
Households: 118
Age 18-24: 7
Age 25+: 111 

Shelter Totals
Persons: 953
Households: 763
Under 18: 175
Age 18-24: 63
Age 25+: 715 

Families (Included in the Shelter totals)
Families: 75
Children under 18: 169
Age 18-24: 18
Age 25+: 75
Total persons in families: 262 

Click here to read the full annual report published by the Coalition for the Homeless last month with greater details about these numbers and more.