Family Homelessness Up Over 30 Percent
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The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments released its 2016 Regional Homelessness Enumeration Report showing that the number of literally homeless persons in DC rose from 7,298 in 2015 to 8,350 in 2016. This is an increase of 1,052 people or 14%. It is also a 20% increase since 2012.

Particularly striking is the 31.8% rise in homelessness among families. There are now 4,667 homeless parents and children in DC. This represents a 46% increase since 2012.

The report notes the particularly harmful effect of homelessness on children, stating that “children experiencing homelessness may have poor nutrition, increased incidence of health impairments, higher exposure to violence, and severe emotional distress. These conditions eliminate feelings of safety and predictability that are important for healthy growth.”

DC’s severe affordable housing shortage is a key driver of this rising family homelessness. Low-income families simply cannot afford the District’s high housing prices. In DC, a worker earning the minimum wage of $9.50 per hour would have to work 100 hours per week in order to afford to rent a market rate one-bedroom apartment[1].

SOME is working with partner organizations and the District to address this issue. We currently provide affordable housing for approximately 140 formerly homeless families and are in the process of developing 67 additional apartments for homeless and extremely low-income families, including 30 apartments at The Conway Center.

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