The number of homeless people in Montgomery County dropped 14%, from 670 people in 2020 to 577 in 2021, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Point-in-Time survey.
The annual count, taken this year on the night of Jan. 27, showed that, despite placing more than 250 individuals in permanent housing in 2020, the number of people in emergency shelter remains constant.
“In spite of the pandemic, we have worked hard as a community to continue our commitment to rapidly exiting people from homelessness,” said County Executive Marc Elrich in a press release. “We have maximized federal resources to connect people experiencing homelessness to permanent housing, placing twice as many households in 2020 as were housed in 2019. Our ‘At Home Together’ initiative to end and prevent homelessness for families with children has paid off.”
“In response to COVID-19, Montgomery County altered its shelter strategy in 2020 by keeping all winter overflow shelters open year-round, resulting in a decrease of 34 percent in the 2021 count of unsheltered individuals,” according to the announcement.
The county’s Department of Health and Human Services leads a Homeless Continuum of Care, a public-private partnership that includes state and local government agencies, non-profit service providers, landlords and other who have a role in preventing and ending homelessness.
“The CoC works to provide a continuum of housing services to individuals and families, including outreach and engagement, emergency and transitional shelter, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing,” the release reads.