Annual Homeless Count Estimates 2,308 Homeless in Lee County
Media Contact: Janet Bartos, Executive Director, Lee County Homeless Coalition (239) 322-6600
The Lee County Homeless Coalition is an advocacy group made up of community and faith-based service providers, local businesses, people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, and other advocates committed to ending homelessness. Once per year the Coalition, with the help of many volunteers, conducts a Point in Time (PIT) census to count the homeless and provide data to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The PIT count is also used to gather information that allows local service providers to target services to meet the specific needs of the homeless in our communities.
The PIT count, which asked people where they slept the night of January 23, 2016, included both sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families. The PIT count was able to document 439 homeless persons, of which 90 were considered to be chronically homeless. HUD defines chronic homelessness as “an unaccompanied adult homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either continuously been homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years, where the combined occasions total a length of time of at least 12 months.” Among the 439 persons surveyed, 44 percent reported having a disabling condition. Also among the 439 were 41 families with 74 children. Veterans made up for 4 percent of those surveyed. Data obtained through the Lee County Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and PIT count found that during the course of the year, there are an estimated 2,308 homeless individuals within Lee County.
The Lee County Homeless Coalition would like to extend a special thank you to the volunteers that assisted with this year’s PIT count.