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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Homeless population rose from 2017 to 2018

The future site of the Bailey's Crossroads shelter and transitional housing facility on Seminary Road.
Although the point-in-time count of homeless people was up slightly on Jan. 24, 2018, in the Fairfax County/Falls Church area compared to the previous year, the homeless population has been steadily decreasing over the past 10 years.

There were 987 people who were literally homeless, according to the 2018 point in time (PIT) count on Jan. 24, an increase of 23 over the 2017 PIT.

The PIT is done by dozens of staff and volunteers from public and private organizations on a single day, who count people in shelters, in time-limited transitional housing programs, or unsheltered on the street, in the woods, or in cars.

The PIT conducted on Jan. 24, 2018, found:
  • Among the 987 homeless people counted, 488 were people in families and 499 were single individuals.
  • Thirty percent of all persons who were homeless were children under the age of 18.  
  • Eighty-five percent of the adults (161) in homeless families were female, an increase of 5 percent from 2017.
  • Forty-nine percent of adults (93) in homeless families were employed; a decrease from 57 percent in 2017.
  • The number of families whose homelessness was due to domestic violence increased 18 percent from last year.
  • Sixteen percent of homeless families were considered “youth households,” as all of the family members were under the age of 25. 
  • Forty-four percent of single adults who were experiencing homelessness suffered from serious mental illness or substance abuse, the same number as last year.
  • There were 86 unsheltered individuals, 19 fewer than in the 2017 count. 
  • Seventy-six percent of single individuals were males (377), 24 percent were females (120), one person was transgendered, and one person didn’t identify as male, female, or transgendered.
  • Twenty-eight percent of single adults (139) were employed; higher than the 23 percent in 2017.
  • Six percent of single adults (31) were reported as veterans; similar to last year.
  • There were two homeless youths under age 18, residing at the Second Story youth shelter.
  • Twenty-nine percent of the single adults (146) were over 55 years of age.
Over the past 10 years the number of homeless people decreased in all categories, including families, children and adults in families, single adults, people experiencing chronic homelessness, and families experiencing domestic violence.

The Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness attributes the 10-year decline to several factors, including implementation of the housing first policy, increased homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing efforts, and a move toward permanent rather than transitional housing.

The increase from 2017 to 2018 is due to increased shelter capacity for domestic violence victims, an overall dearth of new housing resources for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness, and a decrease in federal housing resources.


  1. Thanks to our visionary leaders in Fairfax, Millenials are moving out (except for a few isolated areas like the tech corridor) and the homeless are moving in, that seems to be the new normal for Fairfax County.

  2. Please read the last paragraph of the article to better understand about this relatively small increase. Not sure how you draw your conclusion regarding the new normal in Fairfax County.

  3. The millennials are not moving out of their parents basement. Stop it.

    1. The millennials that you reference cant find a job or affordable housing, so they live with Mom and Dad. The new jobs that are being filled by young techies can afford housing and they are either moving to the Tysons area, Arlington, Alexandria or DC, thus generating an economic engine that most of Fairfax is missing out on. The lack of studio apartments in Fairfax along with poor economic job growth, except Tysons/267 Tech Corridor is part of the problem. Poor transit options along with disconnected, outdated visionless leadership is contributing to much of this phenomenon.

  4. What is the difference between being "literally" homeless and actual homelessness? The area's gentrification is not limited to Fairfax - it's happening in DC, Alexandria and Arlington counties as well. Last weekend, Alexandria council voted to raise its local meals tax to 5%, dedicating the 1% increase to affordable housing. Meals tax in Alexandria will be 11% as of July 1, second highest to Virginia Beach.