[Hpn] Census Bureau Issues Partial Homeless Count;Washington Post;10/31/01

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Thu, 01 Nov 2001 14:08:29 -0500

-------Forwarded article-------

Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Washington Post <http://www.washingtonpost.com>
[Washington, D.C.]
Metro News section
Page A02
Census 2000
Census Bureau Issues Partial Homeless Count

By D'Vera Cohn
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 31, 2001; Page A02

The Census Bureau found 170,706 people in emergency and homeless shelters 
during a one-night head count last year that yielded figures lower than 
those recorded locally and nationally a decade earlier.

Bureau officials, anxious to play down the significance of the data, 
released it with little notice yesterday, emphasizing that it was not a 
complete count of the homeless and might not have included everyone in 

The total was the result of a nationwide one-night count in shelters on 
March 27, 2000. On the next two nights, census-takers counted homeless 
people in soup kitchens, on the street and in other places and produced a 
Census 2000 total of 280,527, which the bureau released earlier this year 
with the caution that it also was not a complete count.

Of those in shelters, 61 percent were male and 26 percent were under 18. 
Forty-one percent were white, 40 percent were black and 20 percent were 
Hispanics of all races.

The bureau shelter count in 1990, which was conducted differently, found 
178,638 people. Barbara Duffield, education director for the National 
Coalition for the Homeless, said other surveys show that the shelter 
population has grown since 1990.

The Census Bureau found 5,275 people in emergency and homeless shelters in 
the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, which stretches from Maryland to 
West Virginia. The region ranked sixth, behind New York, Los Angeles, 
Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago.

In the District, the bureau counted 1,762 people in shelters, down from 
4,682 a decade earlier. Since the 1990 count, the city has repealed a law 
that guaranteed shelter to the homeless.

Other local totals included Anne Arundel County, 175; Montgomery County, 
484; Prince George's County, 449; Alexandria, 166; Arlington County, 182; 
Fairfax County, 330; and Prince William County, 157.

Among big cities, the bureau counted more than 27,000 people in homeless 
shelters in New York, more than 6,400 in Los Angeles and nearly 3,800 in 
Chicago. The bureau published figures only for places in which it counted 
more than 100 people in shelters.

Some homeless advocates criticized the bureau for not publishing more 
figures, including local street counts. Others, including the National 
Coalition for the Homeless, did not want the shelter count published, 
contending that it would be a flawed basis for policymaking. Some other 
advocates also challenged the numbers.

"The Census Bureau has not devised truly adequate means of counting the 
homeless population," said Maria Foscarinis, director of the National Law 
Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

Bureau officials yesterday did not defend the accuracy of their numbers.

"I don't think we are at the point where we can make any assessment of how 
good these data are," said Edison Gore, an assistant division chief.

---End of forwarded article---


~~~For additional information, go to:

National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH)
Position on the Census and Homelessness:


Who is homeless?:


-- National Coalition for the Homeless Web site

How the Census Works:
How can the homeless/transient be counted?:


-- How Stuff Works Web site

Mayors' 16th Annual Survey on "Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities" 
Finds Increased Levels of Hunger, Increased Capacity to Meet Demand:


-- U.S. Conference of Mayors Web site


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
material is distributed without charge or profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
this type of information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.**


-------End of forward-------

Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA

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