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Recession Has a Positive Impact on Alameda County’s Fight to End Homelessness

By Erica Madison

According to a new report released at the end of July by Alameda County the homeless population is down 13.6%.

According to the report created by Every One Home, Aspire Consulting LLC and Focus Strategies, during the recession Alameda County feared homelessness would rise due to high unemployment and foreclosures. To combat this Alameda County funded a housing project called the Priority Home Partnership with money from Federal Stimulus resources.

The result led to a decrease in homeless households with children by 28%, from 1,570 in 2009 to 1,139 in 2011.

The Priority Home Partnership accomplished this by helping 272 adults and children, both sheltered and unsheltered, move into permanent housing. The program was also able to help 488 veterans obtain housing from subsidized housing vouchers Alameda County obtained through Veteran Affairs.

Unfortunately, as the number of homeless families began to decrease another type of homelessness sharply increased. Single family households (adults without children) rose from 1,541 in 2009 to 2,072 in 2011 creating a 34.5% increase.

Another unsettling fact is the age range for these single adults has grown steadily older, ranging from 46.6 in 2009 to 60 years old in 2011, averaging around a 73% increase in the age of the single adult homeless population.

In order to obtain these statistics, a survey of sixty-four homeless shelters were observed. Of the sixty-four sites, the city of Alameda was included in the survey. The report showed that shelters and food pantry service in Alameda has decreased since 2009.

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