News Briefs: Homelessness on the rise

Published October 2009 Vol. 13 Issue 9

The city and county of Denver saw an increase of over 2,700 people experiencing homelessness, bringing the homeless population to a total of 6,656.  While the report was just released from the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative the survey was conducted in January. With many service providers reporting a higher volume of people requiring services since then, it is likely that these numbers are low.

The proportion of people who are newly homeless in Metro Denver is 44.7 percent up from 32.6 percent two years ago. In 5 of the 7 counties in the metro area the number of homeless went down slightly or had virtually no change. Denver and Jefferson Counties had the increases.

There were many areas in the report that made it hard to compare the data. The 2007 point in time survey appears to be generous in its count and reasonably estimates people they were unable to count, while in 2009 they only counted persons who requested services on that day or that were reached by outreach workers.



1.     Lost Job
2.     Rent or Mortgage
3.     Alcohol/Substance Abuse
4.     Family Problems
5.     Mental Illness
6.     Asked to leave
7.     Illness
8.     Domestic Violence
9.     Discharged from Jail
10.     Legal
•Six individuals stated bedbugs as the cause of their homelessness


SOURCE: 2007 & 2009 MDHI PIT surveys