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Annual Homeless Count Comes with an Asterisk

When you look at what’s known as the annual point in time survey, the first thing you notice is that the number of people experiencing homelessness in Evansville is down- way down.

A release from Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s office shows about a 25 percent drop in the number of people counted on the official day of the point in time survey, which was done on January 27, 2021. The number of individuals experiencing homelessness in 2021 was 359, down 26% from 488 in 2020. There were 313 households experiencing homelessness this year, a 23% decline from 407 in 2020.

But the 2021 survey comes with an asterisk.

The reason is the pandemic- homeless shelters could not take as many clients because of COVID mitigation measures. The people who might be counted as homeless weren’t in the places where they could be included in the survey. And, there were numerous programs so agencies could keep as many people housed as possible during the pandemic.

Homeless advocates say now that restrictions have eased, it’s likely the count is back at pre-pandemic levels. They say they’re also expecting more people to experience homelessness after the CDC eviction moratorium ends this weekend. 

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