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 Orange County performing?
Orange County's rate of homelessness was consistently lower than Ulster and Dutchess from 2005 to 2014. In 2014, Orange's rate of 11.2 homeless persons per 10,000 compared to 18.9 in Ulster and13.6 in Dutchess. The rate of homeless persons in Orange was lowest in 2008 at 8.4, and highest in 2010 at 13.5, though it has increased 3% overall since 2005. Orange's rate was slightly lower than the state rate (excluding NYC) of 11.4 in 2014, and lower than the national rate of 18.0.
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.