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 Ulster County performing?
Ulster has had a consistently higher rate of homeless people than the region and state since 2005. In 2014, Ulster's rate was 18.9 homeless people per 10,000 residents, up 7% from 2005 but down from a high of 24.4 in 2013. Since 2005, the state (excluding NYC) rate has fallen 4%, while the national rate has declined by 30%. Ulster was above the rates of the state (excluding NYC) (11.4), region (13.7), and nation (18.0) in 2014.
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.