On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the annual Point in Time (PIT) Count—the annual census of persons and families experiencing homelessness here in the District of Columbia. The count is conducted each winter by The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness and community volunteers to engage residents experiencing homelessness and connect them to resources and services available in the District. In May, a final 2020 PIT Count Report will be released by the Council of Governments, alongside count results for other jurisdictions in the region.
This PIT Count is an important tool used to examine the needs of those homeless in the city and provide budgeting guidelines for city managers. While the overall numbers of homeless individuals in the city fell by 5.5% and chronic homelessness was reported in 2019 to be at its lowest rate in 15 years, there is still much work to be done. The 2019 Point in Time Count reported 6,521 homeless persons in the District—608 unsheltered individuals, 4,679 people in emergency shelters, and 1,234 people in transitional shelters.
In 2015, during her State of the District Address, Mayor Bowser, kicked off the Homeward DC initiative. This initiative, led by the DC Interagency Council on Homelessness, is a strategic partnership between the DC government, nonprofit providers, advocates, persons experiencing homelessness, businesses, and the philanthropic community to end chronic homelessness in this area by 2020. The plan’s objective is to make the experience of homelessness in our area one that is rare, brief, and non-recurring.
Mayor Bowser stated, as the Count began, “As we continue working to end homelessness in Washington, DC, the residents we talk to tonight and the information we collect will help us ensure we’re building the right programs and funding the right resources to get all Washingtonians into safe, permanent housing. Every day, we have outreach teams in the community building relationships and connecting unsheltered residents to the services, shelter, and housing opportunities they need to thrive. Our work continues until every person in our city has a place to call home.”
At The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown our goal is to provide permanent stable housing to senior independent woman experiencing or at threat of homelessness in the DC Metro Area. We are currently full, with 11 residents and are working to continue our mission for another 150 years.