Local Homelessness Statistics

2013 Results:

Bethesda Cares joined the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a movement of over 200 communities working to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronic and medically vulnerable homeless Americans in 2011; over time, Montgomery County and other local partnerships joined the movement as well.  In November, 2013, we collaborated for a Count-Wide Registry Week, the goal of which was to canvas our community, identifying and interviewing as many homeless citizens as possible.  During that week, over 300 volunteers (staff, community members and public servants) spent three consecutive mornings, between 4 and 6 a.m., interviewing people on the streets living in hot spots previously identified by our outreach team.

The reason that identifying people experiencing homelessness is so vital is basic:  you simply cannot house people you don’t know.  The people to whom we reach out, living unsheltered, are not, generally speaking, part of the “system” that might help them move toward housing.  They are either unwilling or unable to seek appropriate services, and our task is to help them move toward joining the admittedly lengthy and emotionally-fraught process of applying for housing.

Thus, teams canvassed the streets, woods, shelters and other hot spots in Rockville, Aspen Hill, Gaithersburg, Germantown, White Flint, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Wheaton, Glenmont, Langley Park, Chevy Chase, Hillandale, and White Oak. Volunteer teams captured data on health conditions, hospitalizations, length of homelessness, and much more.  Key results are summarized below:

Key Registry Week Survey Results

  • 431 homeless individuals were identified
  • 369 surveys were completed; 62 individuals declined to be surveyed
  • 270 males and 99 females completed surveys

Age

  • Average age was 45.6 years old
  • 9% or 32 individuals were under the age of 25
  • 24% or 88 individuals were over the age of 55
  • 4% or 15 individuals were over the age of 65

Health Conditions and Hospitalizations

  • 47% reported at least one serious health condition—of this group, 74% were medically vulnerable and have a higher likelihood of dying in a state of homelessness
  • 23% were characterized as tri-morbid, meaning that they had a mental health diagnosis, a physical health condition, and an active history of substance abuse—of this group, the average length of time being homeless was 6 years
  • The 369 individuals surveyed reported a total of 677 inpatient hospitalizations in the past year
  • 22% of those surveyed received inpatient emergency room treatment at least 3 times last year—of those identified as medically vulnerable, more than 50% received inpatient treatment at least 3 times last year

 Other

  • 31 individuals reported having veterans status
  • 26% of those surveyed were victims of violent attacks while experiencing homelessness

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BETHESDA CARES

7728 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Tel: 301.907.9244
Fax: 301.652.1781
info@bethesdacares.org

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