Point In Time Counts Show Mixed Results Across the Front Range of Colorado
Results from Colorado Point in Time (PIT) counts have been released, and the numbers show an increase in overall homelessness in the Denver Metro area, an overall decrease in Colorado Springs, and a decrease in homelessness for Veterans in both cities.
In this article, we will break down the results of the 2023 PIT Survey and explore the changing rate of people experiencing homelessness from last year.
What is the PIT Survey?
The PIT survey happens on one single night in January each year. On this night, organizations throughout the nation count the number of people experiencing homelessness in communities across the country. The organizations that conduct the counts then analyze the data to derive statistics, demographics, and descriptions of why people are experiencing homelessness in local areas.
This data is then used to raise public awareness, inform public funding decisions, and increase community collaboration.
Denver Area Sees Overall Increase in People Experiencing Homelessness
This year, the initial PIT count conducted by The Metro Denver Homeless Initiative (MDHI) indicated that in the Denver metro area, 9,065 people were counted, a 31.7 percent increase from 2022.
In a press release, MDHI Executive Director, Dr. Jamie Rife, attributed the ending of COVID-19 relief funds as one of the main reasons for the increase.
“With COVID-19 relief funds for the prevention of homelessness coming to an end, as well as many other COVID-era protections, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of eviction filings as more households struggle to pay rent,” Rife said. “This, paired with inflation and the increased cost of housing, is resulting in many people falling into homelessness and many being unable to obtain housing.”
Notably, while the overall rate of homelessness increased in Denver, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness decreased. According to Deidre Smith, the RMHS Associate Director of the Homes for All Veterans Program, there has been a coordinated effort across the state to house veterans in the past few years, leading to a 30 percent decrease in Denver veteran homelessness in the past 2 years.
PIT Results in Colorado Springs Show Decrease in People Experiencing Homelessness
In Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak Continuum of Care's (PPCoC) PIT count found that overall homeless rates reached their lowest levels since 2016. In 2023, they counted 1,302 people experiencing homelessness, 10 percent less than in 2022.
According to the PPCoC, these decreases are in part because of the success of permanent housing programs that helped 740 people who formerly experienced
homelessness find permanent housing.
Veteran homelessness rates in Colorado Springs also went down in 2023, decreasing by 23 percent compared to the past year.
About Homes for All Veterans
Rocky Mountain Human Services’ Homes for All Veterans (HAV) program works throughout Colorado to support veterans and their families who are at risk of becoming homeless or who are currently experiencing homelessness to find permanent housing. The HAV team has worked to house hundreds of at-risk veterans in emergency shelters with the help of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
For more information about our Homes for All Veterans Program, contact HAVreferrals@rmhumanservices.org.