Although the overall number of homeless in the region remained virtually unchanged from last year, the number of families without homes rose for the third straight year and places such as the District and Loudoun County had significant overall increases, a yearly survey showed.
The number of homeless people in the region dipped slightly — by 0.4 percent — to 11,830 this year, according to the annual “point-in-time” homeless survey released Wednesday by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
In the District, the number of homeless families soared 18 percent and homelessness increased 6 percent overall, the report said. The District is struggling with a $7 million shortfall in services for the homeless after a loss of federal funding. The city’s family shelter is filled to capacity, and more than 100 families are living in motels along New York Avenue NE at an average cost of $100 a night.
“The family situation is a crisis in the District,” said Kelly Sweeney McShane, the executive director of Community of Hope, a nonprofit group that provides housing and services to 250 local families. Advocates such as McShane are urging the D.C. government to find more funds to move families out of the motels and into subsidized apartments as the budget debate goes on.