In late December, HUD released their Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR), which is reflective of a snapshot of homelessness on a single night in late January. While the AHAR doesn’t dive into why individuals, families, and other sub-populations experience homelessness, it is the primary source of data that tries to detail the sheer scope of the issue across this country. At times, it can be a sobering report to think of over half a million people were experiencing homelessness on a single night, either in shelters or in uninhabitable locations and it stresses the need for economic mobility, affordable housing, and organizations like ours to help provide the services needed to end someone’s homelessness and more importantly, sustain permanent housing for the long-term. The data in this report drives policy, informs decision-making, and shows where funding needs to be prioritized. It also gives meaning to Heading Home’s work by letting us know there’s more work to be done.
-Dave Parilla, Senior Director of Data & Operational Planning