Asheville City Council, on May 10, were given an update on many areas impacting homelessness in our community. Among the areas addressed by the Community and Economic Development team were results of the 2022 Point-in-Time count, a resolution adopted by Council to accept funding for a Homelessness Services consultant, and updates to a decreased need for police response at Homeward Bound’s AHOPE Day Center.
2022 Point-in-Time count
Each year, the City of Asheville conducts a count of all people experiencing literal homelessness on a single night in January. The 2022 Point-in-Time (PIT) was conducted on January 25, 2022, with the participation of 48 volunteers. The results were submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on April 26th.
- Homeless population has increased 21% since 2021
- COVID has significantly impacted community homeless services, resulting in lower shelter inventory due to protocols, but an increase in the volume and complexity of needs
- Infusion of federal rental assistance funds and non-congregate shelter options helped offset COVID impact
But even with an increase in the number of homeless and complexity of needs among the population, 28% of shelter beds available in Asheville on the night of the Point-in-Time count, remained vacant.
Homelessness Consultant named
The City of Asheville, in partnership with Buncombe County, has named the National Alliance to End Homelessness as the consultant to develop a plan to address the unsheltered in Asheville and Buncombe County. The consultant’s work will be funded by Dogwood Health Trust, and the City of Asheville will oversee administrative and contracting efforts.
The Alliance was selected for their expertise and approach from among 11 firms who responded to a Request for Proposals issued in February, 2022. The Alliance is a national leader in the field of ending homelessness and brings extensive experience relevant to this project, including work in other communities in North Carolina.
Work is expected to begin next month and conclude in December 2022. Its first task: conduct a comprehensive needs assessment using data collection, analysis and interviews with stakeholders throughout the community, including people who are unsheltered, service providers, neighborhoods, and business and faith communities.
The Asheville Homeless Outreach Project for Empowerment (A-HOPE), a strategy developed alongside Homeward Bound, serves individuals with unstable housing needs. The AHOPE Day Center provides daily services for community stability, community engagement and housing systems management and placement.
Calls for APD service at A-Hope have decreased significantly
- December 2021 – 98 calls
- January 2022 – 44 calls
- February 2022 – 66 calls
- March 2022 – 42 calls
- April 2022 – 22 calls
APD also reports a decrease in crime in 250-to-500ft. Area around the A-Hope day center
Our whole community benefits by ending homelessness, and our greatest impact comes when we work together; we can do more as partners than we can do alone. Updates on the project, including opportunities to participate, will be shared via the City of Asheville’s website and through the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee.