LITTLE ROCK (January 22, 2017) – Homeless service providers and advocates are planning a comprehensive census of homeless people in central Arkansas on Tuesday, January 24. Central Arkansas Team Care for the Homeless, or CATCH, is heading up the effort to gauge the extent of homelessness in Pulaski, Saline, Prairie, and Lonoke Counties.

This “Point-in-Time” count is conducted under the mandate of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD and will cover homeless people living in shelters and transitional housing programs as well as homeless people living on the street, in their cars, or other places not fit for human habitation. Nine “warming stations” will operate from 3-8 p.m. on the count day to provide gift bags and other incentives to encourage unsheltered homeless people to participate in the count. Three outreach teams will travel to places where unsheltered homeless people are known to be living. And teams of volunteers will also visit shelters across the area to ensure that sheltered homeless people are included.

In all, more than fifty volunteers are participating in the count. Key groups of volunteers include The Van, which is heading up the Pulaski County outreach team; the UALR School of Social Work, which is taking the lead in administering the shelter count; and the HUD field office, which is leading several of the warming stations. A full list of partnering organizations is listed below.

Data from the Point-In-Time count will be used by CATCH to coordinate local homeless services. Data will also be combined by HUD with data from all across the country (every community in America will be conducting a point-in-time count during the next two weeks) to paint a picture of homelessness nationally.  CATCH conducts a full Point-In-Time count every two years. Recent counts have shown a decline in central Arkansas homelessness (see table below). The data from the 2017 count won’t be released until it is reviewed and approved by HUD, possibly in May or June of this year.

Partnering Agencies Include:

Cabot Police Deparment, DePaul/Jericho Way Day Resource Center, HUD Field Office, City of Jacksonville, City of Little Rock, Little Rock Community Mental Health Center, Little Rock School District, Lonoke County Safe Haven, City of North Little Rock, Our House, Saline County Sherriff’s Office, Salvation Army, and The Van.

Central Arkansas Point-In-Time Homeless Count Data;
2013-2015 Comparison
Breakouts 2013 2015 Change
Total 1,066 830 -22%
Age Categories Children 51 43 -16%
Young adults 137 44 -68%
Adults 878 743 -15%
Sheltered Status Unsheltered 503 339 -33%
Sheltered 563 491 -13%
Key Homeless Subpopulations Veterans 260 190 -27%
Chronically Homeless 364 215 -41%