The VT SILC Housing and Home Supports Committee has been exploring ways to track the state of chronic homelessness in Vermont for people with disabilities. It is the feeling of the committee that identifying this issue and tracking a few key parameters is a way to see if the collective efforts of advocate and state organizations are “moving the bar.” In this blog space the SILC Committee will offer a “housing and homelessness report card” of sorts that will track how we’ve moved the bar on these 3 issues:
1, Persons with disabilities exiting Institutional settings
2. How much have we reduced congregate housing in favor of choice-based housing in VT?
3. How are doing ending chronic homelessness for persons with disabilities?
One of the biggest challenges we will face is obtaining fresh data and identifying sources where we will get data. A source that has already been identified is the annual Vermont Statewide Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. We are eagerly awaiting the 2018 report which should be available in later January of 2018. Interested advocates and hosing improvement enthusiasts are encouraged to contact the SILC to suggest ways that we can expand our data sources. Please contact [email protected].
Every year, the Point-in-Time Count provides a snapshot of how many people are literally homeless on a single night. The findings are used by Vermont’s two Continua of Care in their funding applications to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, the PIT Count provides local communities and state policy makers with an understanding of current challenges and need, areas to target limited funding for appropriate housing and services, and the ability to track overall progress.
There are other, more expansive, definitions of homelessness which include those who are doubled up, at risk of losing their housing or otherwise precariously housed, and it’s important to acknowledge that issues of housing security extend beyond those included in the PIT Count.