Read MDHI's Press Release on the 2020 PIT results:
New Data on Homelessness Released: 2020 Metro-Denver Point-in-Time Numbers Show Pre-COVID Crisis
DENVER, COLORADO – July 15, 2020 – The 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) numbers were released this week, showing a slight increase in the number of individuals experiencing homelessness on one night in January.
The Point-in-Time, commonly referred to as the PIT, is an annual count on one night in January of those experiencing homelessness. The PIT is held across the United States during the last week in January and aims to capture both the overall size and demographics of the homeless population.
This year’s data continues to highlight the racial inequities and homelessness crisis pre-COVID outbreak. On January 27 of this year, 6,104 individuals were identified as experiencing homelessness. This is a six-percent increase over last year’s numbers. Of those, 3,134 were staying in the region’s shelters and 1,526 staying outdoors.
“These data demonstrate homelessness was a crisis before COVID,” said Matt Meyer, Executive Director at the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative (MDHI). MDHI coordinates the PIT each year and is the organization responsible for reporting the data to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). “With eviction moratoriums and other protective measures ending, we fully expect to see dramatic increases as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic. Reinstating these moratoriums on a local or state level would significantly decrease the impact for those households on the edge that now face homelessness,” added Meyer.
Included in PIT is a breakdown by race. “The overrepresentation of people of color, specifically black and Native Americans, among those experiencing homelessness is critical to the response,” stated Meyer. “Homelessness is an issue of race and must be approached through this lens,” he added.
Hundreds of volunteers and dozens of partners across the metro region come together each year to participate in the PIT efforts. “We’re grateful to the collaboration seen across the entire region to make this count possible,” shared Meyer.
This year’s volunteers focused more on connecting with those staying outdoors than in the past due to the adoption of a new homeless management information system (HMIS) which automatically provides data on those staying in shelters and accessing services. HMIS also provides real-time data, allowing the region to understand the current impact of COVID-19 on homelessness. “Thanks to HMIS, our region will have the data necessary to build a comprehensive response,” stated Meyer.