Thanks in part to a new organization, Montgomery County is doing its part to get people off the streets.
The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners announced that in partnership with Your Way Home, the county has reduced its homeless count by 33 percent, based upon Point-in-Time counts.
Your Way Home Montgomery County was established in 2014 as a response system for families and individuals on the brink of homelessness, or who were already on the streets.
Their mission statement revolves around a “housing first” approach —quickly securing permanent housing for at risk populations, and making supportive and financial services accessible to prevent future risk of homelessness. Since 2013, the organization has helped nearly 3,000 people.
“The county is working hard to reduce homelessness and when it does occur, making it rare, brief, and non-recurring,” said Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
From 2011 through 2013, the county was facing a troubling trend: homeless populations were rising, peaking a 464 individuals during one night in January of 2013. Four years later, this past January, the count had been reduced to 310 people.
Aside from merely finding housing, the an impact report showed Your Way Home diverted 86 percent of at-risk households from resorting to emergency shelters — nearly a 15 percent increase from 2016.
The organization also decreased the median length of shelter stays by a full week.
“These new findings are moving in the right direction, but we must continue our efforts to support Your Way Home as they work to improve housing stability and economic security for those at risk of losing their homes and re-house those who have lost their homes,” Arkoosh said.