The 2011 point-in-time (PIT) homeless census in Northwest Arkansas is completed and the news, as expected, is not good. In the midst of the most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression, the number of homeless in Northwest Arkansas increased from an estimated 1,287 in 2009 to 2,001 (36%) in 2011. The rise is alarming but not surprising as service providers throughout the region report record numbers of persons being served. More than two-thirds of homeless persons in the Northwest Arkansas region are 18 and under. Nearly one-quarter of those counted in shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, and day centers were under the age of 18, and half of those youth were under the age of 6. These youth were identified by their parent or guardian as residing with them in a variety of circumstances including shelters, hotels, homes of friends or relatives, and even the streets (car, RV, camping, etc.).
...to read the rest of the report, please download from the University of Arkansas Community & Family Institute & the Community Fact Sheet of Results
The Cobblestone Project along with 7 Hills Homeless Center and the University of Arkansas will be posting some next steps to get involved in meet the needs of the homeless in our community. Please watch the Cobblestone Project website for additional information.