On any given day, there are 5,755 people experiencing homelessness in the Denver metro area, according to the 2019 Point In Time survey. Metro Denver Homeless Initiative conducts the survey on one night in January every year as part of a national effort to collect a comprehensive count of those experiencing homelessness and measure our national and regional progress in addressing homelessness.
On January 28, 2019, volunteers and staff surveyed people in shelters and on the streets of the Denver metro area. The survey covers the seven county area of Denver and requires collaboration from agencies, law enforcement and volunteers. Family Tree staff were specifically responsible for the coordination of the outreach and magnet events in Jefferson County.
The 5,755 people counted in the 2019 Point In Time survey was an increase from the 5,317 people surveyed in 2018. However, people living outside that night decreased from 1,308 to 946 from 2018 to 2019. On January 28, 2018, it was 58 degrees Fahrenheit outside, versus the low of 7 degrees Fahrenheit with a snowstorm, which produced 12 inches of snow on January 29, 2019. As a result, people who typically sleep outside entered emergency shelters.
There were 429 families counted in the 2019 Point In Time survey in metro Denver and 1,158 people experiencing chronic homelessness, a 27% decrease from 2018.
“The increase in people experiencing homelessness reflects the increased effort to have a more comprehensive count and to improve collaboration in our community,” says Cassie Ratliff, Director of the Family Tree Homelessness Program. “When we put money and focus into serving a specific group, like those experiencing chronic homelessness, it will work, and we see that in this year’s count.”
Family Tree works alongside people affected by child abuse, domestic violence and homelessness throughout their journey to safety and economic independence, providing emergency residential services, case management and advocacy, therapeutic services, outreach support and housing search and placement among many other services. By leveraging a deeper, broader and more holistic array of life-changing services and programs, Family Tree empowers individuals and families to discover their own strengths to create lasting, positive change.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Denver County is now $1,204. Based on federal guidelines, rent should not exceed 30% of gross salary, meaning one needs a salary of $48,000 to afford Denver rent. However, half of Family Tree clients make under $10,000 a year.