What does this measure?
The number of homeless people at a given point in time (usually one night in January), per 10,000 residents.
Why is this important?
The extent of homelessness can be an indicator of a community's ability to provide stable jobs that pay a living wage as well as a measure of support for the unemployed and access to affordable housing and health care. Homelessness is related to larger issues such as poverty, employment, mental health, substance abuse and family violence. The way a community cares for its more vulnerable citizens is a marker of collaboration and its social support systems.
How is Dutchess County performing?
Dutchess County's rate of homeless persons per 10,000 residents increased by 9% between 2005 and 2014, from 12.4 to 13.6, though down from 16.0 in 2010. In 2014, Dutchess had a higher rate of homeless persons than Orange but lower than Ulster. Dutchess had a higher rate than the state (excluding NYC) and lower rate than the nation (11.4 and 18.0, respectively).
Notes about the data
Data is unavailable for all counties. It is very difficult to obtain an exact count of homeless persons, due to transience and to limited resources for record-keeping. Comparable data presented for available counties are currently limited to point-in-time counts done on one night in January.