File photo of homeless people in Oklahoma City

Who are the Homeless? 

The number of families and individuals facing homelessness is on the rise nationally due to the downturn in the economy, foreclosures, loss of jobs and unforeseen medical and repair needs.

In 2010, the number of homeless families with children slightly decreased in our City and is directly attributable to one-time funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Also, the number of chronically homeless (several episodes of homelessness or great lengths of time homeless) has seen a mild decrease mostly due to the national emphasis and available funding to add new housing for the chronically homeless.

Results of our annual one-day count of the homeless are detailed in the Point in Time Report. It should be noted that the total number of people served annually far exceeds the number “counted” in the one-day snapshot.

Preventing Homelessness 

Prior to receiving ARRA funding for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), there was very little funding directed toward prevention. Even though prevention is not a cure-all, it is preferable to have funding available to allow people to remain in their homes. Short-term rental and utility assistance are the major tools used to prevent homelessness.