[Hpn] HOMELESS COME IN EIGHT CATEGORIES
William Charles Tinker
Sun, 2 Oct 2005 15:47:53 -0400
Homeless come in eight categories
By LARRY HENDRICKS
Sun Staff Reporter
Who are the homeless?
According to the federal government as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act,
homeless is a person who "lacks a fixed, regular and adequate night-time
residence .."And the residence the person does have is a publicly or
privately run temporary shelter of some sort.
Using this definition, according to "Current Status of Homelessness in
Arizona" annual report, published November 2004, by the Arizona Department
of Economic Security, about 22,000 homeless people live in the state on any
A point-in-time survey for Coconino County, according to DES, estimates
there are 1,000 homeless individuals and another 1,000 people in families
with children who are homeless.
Local social service providers don't hold much stock in the DES numbers,
which are based on instances of service provided.
Local agencies are preparing to conduct a real-time survey, which is
scheduled to be done in the summer 2006. The has been slated to happen for
the last four years, but has yet to be done.
About 47 percent of the statewide totals for homeless is of
substance-addicted people, according to DES estimates.
The homeless are divided into eight categories by DES: Elderly persons;
Chronically homeless; Families with children; Youth; Veterans; Victims of
domestic violence; People with addictions, who make up nearly 50 percent of
all homeless; People with mental illness.
Compunding the spectrum of homelessness even further, is that some homeless
people fit under multiple categories. For instance, a homeless person can be
addicted, mentally ill and a veteran.
And according to Flagstaff police officials, a certain percentage of the
substance-addicted category actually do have homes they could go to. They
either come to Flagstaff from other locations, stay on the streets for a
time, then go back home, or they stay on the streets for a time and go to
the home of a family member in the city.