Why Does It Matter?
Mental illness is an additional, but often unseen, barrier to a stable life for those who are homeless.
Homelessness prevents many of our neighbors from having a safe, stable, and healthy life. The struggle to achieve stability is even more profound for those who face additional barriers like mental illness, addiction, or seen or unseen disabilities.
Since 2015, the number of people who were chronically homeless hit a low with 790 people, but since then has continued to rise. In 2017, there were 1,072 people who were chronically homeless, a rate similar to 2014 and earlier. In 2017 this included 113 children. People are considered chronically homeless when they have either accessed a homeless program 4 or more times in a year, or have been continuously homeless for a year or longer.
While homelessness data looks specifically at the number of people who seek services and shelter, it often misses individuals or families who are moving from relative to relative, or friend to friend, as a result of being unable to access affordable housing. This too can impact a family’s stability, but data for this is difficult to track.