Homelessness in St. Louis County is a persistent, complex problem that stems from many factors including a lack of affordable housing. But how many people are in this situation?
Counting unsheltered individuals and families is the goal of an annual survey, which St. Louis County’s Public Health and Human Service Department is conducting on Thursday, January 23. The County is working with community service providers, agencies, and volunteers to complete a federally required Point in Time Homeless Count. The purpose is to identify people who are experiencing homelessness and not staying in a shelter on the night of January 22.
The count seeks to survey all “unsheltered” individuals and families, or people whose primary nighttime residence is not fit for habitation. Examples include a car, park, abandoned building or storage unit, bus or train station, campground, ice house, or in the woods. The count also seeks to identify “doubled up” households – sometimes referred to as “couch-hopping” — or those staying with family or friends on a short-term basis. People living in this situation meet the state’s definition of homeless.
This annual survey is vital because it helps define the scope and scale of the problem, and the data is used to determine federal funding awarded to fight homelessness. There is a coordinated effort to reach specific groups experiencing homelessness, including veterans, youth, communities of color, and those fleeing domestic violence.
St. Louis County will be collecting information on January 23 to document where people experiencing homelessness spent the night of January 22. For citizens who have information about people who are experiencing homelessness and willing to complete a brief survey, surveyors will be at the following locations on Thursday, January 23:
Community Connect @ Damiano Center, 206 West 4th Street
AICHO, 202 West 2nd Street
Duluth Public Library, 520 West Superior Street
Duluth Warming Center at CHUM, 120 North 1st Avenue West
Lake Superior Community Health Center, 4325 Grand Avenue
Leech Lake Duluth Area Office, 202 West 2nd Street
LifeHouse Drop in Center, 102 West 1st Street
MAC-V, 5209 Ramsey Street
St. Louis County Government Services Center, 320 West 2nd Street, Central Client Area
(If activated), Duluth Warming Center at Gloria Dei, 219 North 6th Avenue East
AEOA, 702 3rd Avenue South
Bill’s House shelter, 210 3rd Street North
Access North, 1309 E 40th Street
Government Services Center, 320 East Miners Drive
Scenic Rivers Health Services, 20 5th Street Southeast
13071 Nett Lake Road-Suite B
New Moon, 1224 White Pine Circle, Tower
People also can provide information by calling CHUM’s Street Outreach at 218-461-8505.