Durham, N.C., May 1, 2023 – On January 25, 2023, Housing for New Hope led the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count to assess the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Durham County. The results of the PIT Count will be made public during a media event on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 1:00 pm at the CCB Plaza located at 201 N. Corcoran St., Durham, NC.
On the night of the Count, a total of 375 individuals experiencing homelessness were identified, with 144 individuals living in unsheltered locations. This marks a 10% increase in unsheltered homelessness from the previous year’s Count. To gather this information, volunteers canvassed designated areas in teams of three to five and identified individuals who were living in temporary spaces, unsheltered, or in locations not intended for human habitation.
While the PIT Count identified 144 individuals sleeping in places not fit for human habitation, individuals living in emergency shelters or transitional housing saw a decrease of 31% from the previous year’s count. The decline in the number of individuals living in temporary housing is influenced by a 35% decrease in emergency shelter capacity.
“Participating in the Point in Time count had a profound impact on me. Seeing first-hand the result of societal failures and disinvestment in our people is an experience that I cannot forget. Our work ahead must prioritize investing in education, health care (including access to mental health supports), jobs and job training, as well as ensuring that safe, stable, and affordable housing is available for all income levels.” – Mayor Elaine O’Neal, City of Durham.
“We are deeply concerned about the continued increase in unsheltered homelessness in Durham County, as highlighted by the results of the 2023 Point-in-Time Count. This underscores the urgent need for collaborative efforts among local agencies and additional resources to prevent and end homelessness in our community. At Housing for New Hope, we remain committed to connecting vulnerable neighborhoods to housing and hope, and we are confident in the power of our community to help make this happen.” – Russ Pierce, Executive Director of Housing for New Hope.
“It’s one thing to read and hear about homelessness. It’s another thing to listen to and learn from people who experience living without a home. My eyes have been opened to how the advantages of my housing privilege can’t be taken for granted. If not for the small advantages many of us take for granted, we too could be living in a cardboard box. Many of the homeless among us have endured bad luck. We are too rich in resources not to find a better way to provide mental health care, job training and safe places for people to live. I refuse to remain silent and unmoved as Durham becomes a home for people with dreams ruined by a cycle of disappointment.” – Brenda Howerton, Chair of Durham County Commission.
The Durham Continuum of Care, which includes multiple local agencies such as the City of Durham and Durham County, is working on solutions to prevent and end homelessness in Durham. However, the results of the PIT Count indicate that additional resources are needed to help individuals transition into permanent housing.
Housing for New Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping our most vulnerable neighbors find housing and hope. For more than 30 years, the organization has assisted over 700 individuals and families each year, providing support wherever they may be on their journey to housing stability. Our focus is on connecting people with housing and the necessary support services to achieve their goals.