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D.C. Region to Count Homeless Population

WASHINGTON, DC – During the afternoon and evening of January 26, area governments and homeless service providers will conduct the eleventh annual enumeration of the region’s homeless population. In addition to the overall count, jurisdiction-specific information will be collected, as will data on subpopulations, such as disabled persons, veterans, and persons with mental illness.   


In 2010, 11,774 homeless persons were counted as homeless in metropolitan Washington, a slight decrease from the previous year, which continued a trend of gradual reduction in the homeless population since 2006. While the complete data and analysis will not be released until spring, staff from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) participating in the count will provide initial reactions and accounts from the experience on COG’s Facebook page and the Region Forward blog, The Yardstick, in the days following the enumeration.


“As the region and the nation continues attempts to emerge from economic malaise and a foreclosure crisis, this year’s count will inform planners on how these factors may have affected the number of homeless persons in metropolitan Washington,” said Michael Ferrell, chair of COG’s Homeless Services Planning and Coordinating Committee the Committee and Executive Director of the DC Coalition for the Homeless.


The annual enumeration is part of an ongoing effort to monitor and report on the number of people found on the streets, in emergency shelters, in transitional and permanent supportive housing, or otherwise homeless and in need of a safe shelter. The enumeration provides a “snapshot” of homeless persons, and is not intended as a scientific count of the population trend over time. Until the enumeration began in 2001, it was not possible to aggregate data on homelessness in the region with any degree of confidence.  


The jurisdictions that participate in the annual count include the District of Columbia; Frederick County; Montgomery County; Prince George's County (including the City of Bowie); Alexandria; Arlington County; Fairfax County (including Falls Church and the City of Fairfax); Loudoun County; and Prince William County (including the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park).


Results of the enumeration will be released this spring. To view/download last year’s report, A Regional Portrait of Homelessness, click here.




COG is the association of 21 local governments working together for a better metropolitan region.


Release Date: Jan 26, 2011
Contact: Lewis Miller
Phone: 202-962-3209

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