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Point In Time Census Reveals Modest Successes, but A Long Way to Go to End Homelessness in DC 

Five months ago, over 200 volunteers braved January's intense late-night weather conditions, and joined CHGM and other homeless services organizations to perform the eighth annual Point In Time (PIT) census and survey of homeless persons living in DC. The annual count provides an opportunity to look at both the size and makeup of the city's homeless population on a given day, and helps DC government and service providers identify unmet needs and plan for the future. The report from the January 2014 count indicates a 12.9% increase in DC's homeless population since the 2013 count.


The Point In Time Count is conducted in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development's (HUD) reporting standards, and counts those who are unsheltered, in emergency shelter, and in transitional housing facilities. While DC had an overall increase in homelessness since 2013, the number of unsheltered homeless people decreased by 116 and the number of families in transitional housing decreased by 195.


Surveys administered to homeless individuals during the PIT census shed light on chronic homelessness in DC, defined as continuous homelessness for a year or more, or at least four episodes of homelessness within the past three years. The census indicated that 1,785 homeless adults and 133 families were chronically homeless. The median age of homeless adults was 49 years for singles, and 25 years for those in families. Contrary to popular belief, 21.6% of homeless adults reported that they were employed. However, 15% of adults in families, and 55% of single adults reported that they had no income of any kind.


The PIT census identified modest decreases in the number of homeless individuals in DC, and we were also pleased to find that fewer homeless individuals were sleeping outside on the very cold night of the count, presumably due to the city's efforts to provide additional hypothermia shelter options, including warming buses. Nevertheless, DC continues to have an unacceptably high number of homeless individuals and families with 3,953 homeless individuals, and 1,231 homeless families.


CHGM is committed to continue working with our homeless neighbors, community members, peer organizations, and city leaders to implement effective, humane, and cost-effective strategies to end homelessness in the District. In addition to providing direct services to homeless individuals and families, CHGM is providing leadership to The Way Home Campaign to end chronic homelessness in DC by 2017, is a participating organization in the newly launched Coordinated Entry standardized access and assessment system for homeless individuals, is engaged in collective advocacy to obtain sufficient funding levels for homelessness prevention and housing and services for homeless residents, and is working with DHS and myriad service providers to more effectively implement the city's Rapid Rehousing Program. We are also developing new ways to effectively include our homeless clients, volunteers, and community members in these advocacy initiatives. We hope that future PIT counts will reflect success of these efforts.


New Coordinated Entry Program Provides More Support for Single Homeless Individuals 
For years, many of our homeless neighbors have expressed frustration with the runaround that they faced when trying to access services. While the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center has served as a central point of intake for newly homeless families, such an entity has not been in place for our single homeless neighbors. In February, the new Coordinated Entry System pilot program was launched by a collection of DC government and homeless services organizations seeking to provide a standardized intake, assessment, and referral process for homeless individuals.


The Coordinated Entry System provides an efficient and low-barrier way for people experiencing homelessness to connect with the service providers who can best meet their particular needs. This is achieved through a coordinated intake and housing placement process, which ensures that homeless individuals receive assistance with both immediate and long-term housing and other needs. Outreach workers and homeless services programs complete individualized assessments with homeless neighbors in convenient locations across the city, from parks, to metro stations, to shelters. Information from the assessments is then put into a centralized database, which allows providers to identify and place our most vulnerable neighbors into the housing program most appropriate for their particular circumstances-permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing or affordable housing and one-time assistance.


While the Coordinated Entry System is still new, we have already seen positive results. As of April, over 300 assessments have been completed, and participating organizations seek to more than double that number by the end of the summer. We hope that by doing so, many high-priority homeless neighbors will be placed in housing by the end of the season. CHGM is proud to be part of this effort that demonstrates how real progress toward ending homelessness can be made when government and nonprofit organizations work together to implement sensible solutions.


 For more information about the Coordinated Entry System, please visit 


Summer Brings New Volunteer Opportunities 

As we head into the summer months, CHGM needs volunteers for several special events as well as our on-going projects. Let us know how you can help!

THIS SATURDAY! 8th Annual Ward 6 Family Day, June 21st, 1-5pm, Eliot-Hine Middle School: CHGM is partnering with host, Tommy Wells, to ensure that homeless children and families are able to attend and benefit. We need volunteers to staff a table where we will collect donations to purchase school uniforms for homeless children in Ward 6 schools. Additional volunteers are needed to work the grills, staff activity areas, and assist with set-up and clean-up.


Water Bottle Donations:Donate bottles of water for our outreach workers to hand out to our homeless neighbors during these hot summer days. 

Mentors: Become a mentor or share your special skill or knowledge with a child or adult in one of our programs.
Back to School Backpacks: Send kids in need back to school new backpacks filled with all their required school supplies.
Meal Preparation: Prepare and share lunch with guests at Shirley's Place, Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11am-1pm.
Shirley's Space: Lead your own fun or informative workshop at Shirley's Place, Thursdays 10am-11am.
Bakery Pick-Up: Pick up leftover baked goods from a Au Bon Pain and deliver them to Shirley's Place and/or the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church breakfast program the next morning. Pick up Tuesdays at 8pm, drop off Wednesdays at 8am


 Please contact Whitney Parnell for more information about how to get involved at

Upcoming Events
Ward 6 Family Day, June 21st (1:00-5:00pm) -
Help CHGM collect donations for school uniforms for homeless children.


Action Hour, June 24th (1:30pm - 2:30pm) - Attend CHGM's "Action hour" the fourth Tuesday of every month, where will engage with our homeless neighbors, listen to their needs, and help them to be effective advocates for themselves.

Community Night, July 8th (6:00pm - 7:30pm) - Attend CHGM's Community Night the second Tuesday of every month at Capitol Hill United Methodist Church (421 Seward Sq SE). Each month, you'll learn about a different aspect of homelessness, and specific action that you can take to address the problem.

Mr. Henry's Benefit Night, July 9th (5:00pm - Midnight) - Support CHGM by enjoying a meal at Mr. Henry's Restaurant (601 Pennsylvania Ave SE). 20% of the proceeds will go towards CHGM!.

12th Annual Hope for the Homeless Golf Tournament, September 22 (1:30pm shotgun start) -Join us at Glenn Dale Country Club for great fun for a great cause! Details and sponsorship information coming soon!
"Serving the Community, One Neighbor at a Time"
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