Numbers Portray County's Homeless

After spending the night at a church, homeless residents are bused to the Lamb Center, a daytime church-run program in Fairfax City, as part of the cold-weather sheltering effort. A new report estimates the county's homeless population at 2,077.
After spending the night at a church, homeless residents are bused to the Lamb Center, a daytime church-run program in Fairfax City, as part of the cold-weather sheltering effort. A new report estimates the county's homeless population at 2,077. (By Lois Raimondo -- The Washington Post)

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

The number of homeless single adults increased by nearly 17 percent in 2006 over the previous year, from 800 to 934, according to the Community Council on Homelessness, which presented its annual report to the county Monday. The report defines the homeless as those living on the street, in shelters or in transitional housing. Not accounted for in the report are those who face eviction or are living with friends or family, known as the "precariously housed."

For homeless families, the waiting list for one of the five county shelters averages about 60 families. Combined, the shelters can accommodate about 35 families, and families can spend three to four months on the waiting list before space opens up.

The council estimates the county's homeless population to be 2,077. Here are some highlights of the report:

Characteristics of single adults

· Male 69 percent

· Female 31 percent

· Employed 28 percent

· Income below poverty level 75 percent

· Serious mental illness,


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© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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