The 2020 Point-in-Time Count: A Snapshot of Homelessness in the City of Alexandria

Page archived as of July 31, 2020

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2020

The 2020 Annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count revealed 207 persons experiencing homelessness (i.e., unsheltered and in temporary shelter made available by homeless services providers) in the City of Alexandria:

  • 32 Households with Adults and Children (36 Adults and 50 Children)
  • 121 Singles (85 Men, 36 Women), including:
    • 11 Unsheltered Singles
    • 15 Chronically Homeless Singles

The total number of persons identified during the 2020 Count increased by 5% from 2019.

The Office of Community Services (OCS) presented the data on June 11 to the Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness (PPEH) in the City of Alexandria, a public-private collaborative that serves as the local Continuum of Care and conducted the count on January 22

OCS staff also highlighted race and ethnicity breakdowns to exemplify racial disparities in the homeless population, such as a total of 65% of people experiencing homeless in Alexandria on January 22 were African American, despite being approximately 21% of Alexandria’s total population. Staff also issued a call to the collaborative for policy changes to achieve equity.

The annual enumeration, traditionally done on the last Wednesday of January, provides a one-night unduplicated “snapshot” of persons experiencing homelessness as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Continuum of Care-led teams, comprised of local homeless service providers, Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) staff, and volunteers, manually counted and surveyed persons who were unsheltered (i.e., who slept outdoors or in places not meant for habitation). DCHS and non-profit homeless services staff provided data and client-level surveys for persons assisted in residential homeless services programs on the night of the count.

PIT Count results help convey the scope of homelessness, identify and assess unmet needs and gaps in services, inform funding and other planning decisions, and evaluate progress made in preventing and ending homelessness. The greatest barriers to ending homelessness in our community are 1) extremely low incomes (i.e., low fixed income and the lack of a living wage received by persons experiencing homelessness) and 2) lack of affordable permanent housing opportunities for the lowest income households (i.e., those with an income 30% and below the area median of $110,300). 

Homelessness in Metropolitan Washington, the complete report of the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments’ regional PIT Count results, is posted on their site.

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