According to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Homelessness in Metropolitan Washington report, the number of persons experiencing homelessness in the region is the lowest it has been in 19 years. The number of persons experiencing homelessness has increased slightly in Loudoun County.
Officials note that at the time the count was conducted, the impact of COVID-19 was not evident in this region. The needs and challenges that are now facing people experiencing homelessness and those who are working to end their housing crisis have grown significantly as a result of the pandemic.
The Homelessness in Metropolitan Washington report is a one-day snapshot of persons experiencing homelessness across nine area jurisdictions. The Loudoun County Continuum of Care conducts the annual Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Point-in-Time Count of persons in the community experiencing a housing crisis or literal homelessness every January. During the count, members of the Continuum of Care along with staff from local nonprofits canvass the county to assist anyone who is unsheltered by providing resources, non-perishable food and other needed items. Local law enforcement personnel and mental health clinicians also assist with outreach efforts across the county.
The Loudoun County Point-in-Time Count covers the entire county and includes outreach to young adults ages 18 to 24, veterans, people over 60, families and others. In 2020, the findings include:
“We continue to work with our regional partners to learn about the challenges of homelessness and each Point-In-Time Count provides us more data to help us refine our support services,” said Loudoun County Department of Family Services Acting Director Ina Fernández. “With the additional stress of a pandemic, community collaboration is more essential than ever to support those who are most vulnerable.”
Loudoun County offers a variety of programs to assist households in need through the Department of Family Services and the Loudoun Continuum of Care, a partnership between local government, nonprofit agencies, the public school system, health care providers, faith-based organizations and others that work together to address the needs of those experiencing housing instability or homelessness in Loudoun County. Anyone who may be experiencing a housing crisis is encouraged to contact the Department of Family Services’ Coordinated Entry System phone line at 703-777-0420.
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