Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Results of 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of the Homeless

Press release, July 9, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities across the country to conduct an annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of persons experiencing homelessness who are unsheltered, sleeping in an emergency shelter or transitional housing. The PIT Count is conducted on a single night during the last ten days of January and is led by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) in collaboration with the Metropolitan Homeless Impact Division and the Homelessness Planning Council. 

The 2020 PIT Count for Nashville-Davidson County was conducted on the evening of Jan. 23 and in the early morning hours of Jan. 24. More than 100 volunteers from 27 different agencies and universities took part in this year’s Count. Room In The Inn and Nashville Rescue Mission operated their shelter programs and counted people staying with them during that night. No Metro overflow shelters were opened on the night of the count, and the community’s cold weather plan was not activated.

The 2020 PIT Count found a total of 2,016 individuals experiencing homelessness – 1,432 (71.0%) people living sheltered and 584 (28.9%) people living unsheltered – in Nashville-Davidson County. These results reflect a 15.0% total decrease in overall homelessness since 2016 and a 1.5% increase in the number of people experiencing literal homelessness since 2019 (30 people).

“Nashville’s Point-in-Time Count is a vital resource that helps Metro serve our unsheltered and unhoused neighbors,” said Mayor John Cooper. “Our office will continue to work closely with MDHA and our community partners to serve Nashvillians experiencing homelessness as part of Metro’s ongoing commitment to one of our most vulnerable communities and throughout our city’s coordinated COVID-19 response.” Additional key findings from the 2020 Homeless Count include: 
  • 73% of the adult population experiencing homelessness on the night of the Count were men, compared to 48% of Nashville’s population. 
  • 45% of the adult population experiencing homelessness on the night of the Count were Black or African American, compared to 28% of Nashville’s population. 
  • 82% of unsheltered individuals said that lack of income was their primary barrier to finding housing. Other reasons included health problems, past evictions and legal issues. There was no increase in Veterans identified from 2019 to 2020. 
  • There was a 14% increase in people experiencing chronic homelessness identified from 2019 to 2020.
  • There was a 7% decrease in families with minor children identified from 2019 to 2020. 
  • There was an 11% decrease in unaccompanied youth ages 18-24 identified from 2019-2020. 
  • 41% of unsheltered individuals and 31% of sheltered individuals reported problems with substance abuse. 
  • 38% of unsheltered individuals and 25% of sheltered individuals reported mental health problems. 
  • 22% of unsheltered individuals and 14% of sheltered individuals reported being survivors of domestic violence.
“The annual PIT Count is a reminder of why we do the work we do, and the information we are able to gather allows us to better direct our efforts to reduce homelessness in our city,” said MDHA Executive Director Jim Harbison.

“I’m extremely grateful to MDHA staff for their continued work on these efforts, the Metropolitan Homeless Impact Division and the Homelessness Planning Council for their partnership and the volunteers who participate each year.” 

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