Homelessness in Michigan on the decline since Great Recession

PR Newswire

Hopeful signs point to improving economy

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Homelessness in Michigan continues to drop as the state recovers from the wave of foreclosures that occurred in the wake of the national financial crisis, a Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness report shows.

In 2012, 93,619 people were homeless in Michigan, down from 100,001 in 2009, during the height of the Great Recession.

"Thanks to the efforts of our statewide partners, we're better equipped to address this issue," states the report, released in conjunction with the Eighth Annual Summit on Ending Homelessness, which concludes today at the Bavarian Inn Lodge and Conference Center in Frankenmuth.

"In the past we've simply held the line. Now we've started to move that line," the report states. "In the long-term we'll continue to move that line down toward zero. And people will continue to come home."

A deeper look at homelessness statistics shows signs of an improving economy. For example, a total of 14,105 people were employed when they exited temporary housing in 2012, up from 10,152 in 2009. Their incomes also increased, from $4,004 in 2009 to $7,012 in 2012.

In addition, 67 percent of those entering homeless shelters did not return to shelter anywhere in Michigan between 2010 and 2012. Also, 88 percent of households retained permanent supportive housing for more than seven months; 40 percent reported an increase in life skills, such as budgeting; and 40 percent reported higher safety in their housing environments.

For 2013, Michigan's Campaign to End Homelessness has placed a renewed emphasis on ending chronic homelessness.

Campaign partners will also work to address coming trends. For instance, the number of homeless people under age 30 and over age 55 is expected to grow based on a lack of employment and dwindling public resources. People over age 55 may end up in nursing care because of health issues and because affordable housing is not available to them.

SOURCE Michigan's Campaign to End Homelessness

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