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02Apr

Homelessness Down in Chester County for Fourth Straight Year

Pottstown Mercury

Fewer people are experiencing homelessness in Chester County.

There are 517 people identified as experiencing homelessness in Chester County, according to a report by the Chester County Department of Community Development and the Decade to Doorways partnership. It represents a 24 percent decrease in the past four years.

“The downward trend that Chester County is seeing for those who are experiencing homelessness can be attributed to a combination of factors, all coming together because of the Decade to Doorways initiative,” said Pat Bokovitz, director of Chester County’s Department of Community Development. “We are bringing together the work of our coordinated homeless service providers, the increase in permanent supportive housing resources, and the targeting of resources to support the most vulnerable. These efforts are bringing us even closer to Chester County’s goal of ending homelessness.”

The findings were reported by Chester County commissioners.

Of the 517 individuals experiencing homelessness on the evening of Jan. 24, 2019, 497 men, women, and children were housed in emergency or transitional shelters. Of the 497 who were housed, 201 were veterans. The street count found 20 individuals who were unsheltered (sleeping in cars, tents or places not meant for human habitation). Most of those homeless were found in Kennett Square.

It’s the fourth consecutive year Chester County’s 2019 Point in Time Count showed a decrease in those experiencing homelessness. In 2016, 682 individuals were counted; in 2017 the number was 570; and in 2018 the number dropped to 555.

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