The Commission on Homelessness says its annual point-in-time report on homelessness in the Evansville/Vanderburgh County area is slightly off due to changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commission says that since the counts for its most recent report were taken in January during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the significantly lower results aren't directly comparable to results from years past.
With that in mind, Friday's report from the Commission on Homelessness says that there were 359 individuals in the area experiencing homeless in 2021, down 26% from 488 in 2020.
Additionally, 313 households were experiencing homelessness in 2021, a 23% decline from the 407 experiencing it in 2020.
Timothy Weir, Administrator of the Commission on Homelessness says the drastic drop in the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in the area is due largely in part to reduced capacity at local homeless shelters, where counts for the report are performed.
Weir says the commission is now preparing for an increase in homelessness in the area after the CDC's eviction moratorium expires.
“The impact of COVID-19 and shelters’ reduced capacity to house clients prohibited a full, accurate count this year,” Weir said. “We’re now preparing for a potential increase in homelessness after the CDC eviction moratorium expires on July 31st.”
Officials say that with COVID-19 restrictions eased and shelters operating at pre-pandemic capacity levels, the number of people experiencing homelessness in our region today is likely at 2019-2020 levels.