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Homeless Population Declines in Arlington

by ARLnow.com April 14, 2011 at 7:00 am 3,685 37 Comments

The homeless population in Arlington fell by 13 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to a new study.

An annual count of the region’s homeless conducted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments showed that region-wide, the homeless population rose by 2 percent to 11,988 as of January 2011. But the homeless population in Arlington declined from 531 to 461 during that same period, a drop of 13 percent.

The study found that there were 65 homeless families in Arlington, consisting of 81 adults and 112 children. Of the adults in homeless families, 38 percent are employed, according to the report.

Screen capture via YouTube

  • Jim

    You would think that with the homeless population going down we would be spending less on the government sponsored homeless programs. Unfortunately, the budget keeps going up and Arlington now spends more on the the homeless on a per capita basis than 99% of the country.

    • AllenB

      Do you have a source for that 99% figure? I’m not being snarky (for once) but I really am curious if we do spend more than that much of the country.

      • mehoo

        Still waiting, Jim….

        • Joe

          That was not intended to be a factual statement.

          • AllenB

            Thank you, Senator Kyl.

    • Wacher

      About the homeless people in Arlington.
      The only Thing I have to say about that is the only thing making the homeless pop go down, is the faked that the police,The homeless shelters, and The Arlington mission are all “running the homeless out of the city into Dallas. (don’t believe me go look)
      Threatening them by A. saying they will lock them up in jail/mantle institutions. Saying they do not belong there and should get out of town. or b herasing them tell they levee.
      I know this because I was one of the homeless people there in Arlington.
      So believe me whene I say the only resone why it is going down its because of people like Miss Tilly( Arlington Mission directer) Mister Mick(From the staff of the Arlington life shelter ) And officer Griffin who believes homelessness is something you wake up and chose to do)

  • KalashniKEV

    Even with the bum mansion we built them? I didn’t know my dirty looks and outward disdain were so effective!

    • mehoo

      Or maybe they aren’t and you’ve been “refudiated.”

      • KalashniKEV

        These actions only serve to embolden our enemies. 🙂

        • mehoo

          38% employed, 112 children, people like you walking around ranting about bums. Who is the enemy?

          • KalashniKEV

            Vagrancy is the enemy of civil people. How we prevent it is the issue.

          • Josh S

            See, Kev, why go there? Why use the word “enemy” when you could just as easily use a different word and get a lot more agreement. “bane” “shame” “problem” “source of anguish” “blemish” “mystery”

            Cast unfortunate fellow human beings as the “enemy” – lose almost any shred of legitimacy, respect or sympathy.

          • KalashniKEV

            Because “refudiate” is a Palinism, “embolden our enemies” is a Bushism, and crime is the enemy of all civilized people? Lighten up, homey.

          • mehoo

            Sorry, Kev, you don’t get a pass on this one. No “lighten up.”

          • KalashniKEV

            I need no pass of any kind. This situation is disgusting, and the Dems are tripping over themselves to enable these Bums to just go about their filthy vagrant lives, right among the rest of us. IT’S TIME FOR A BUM ROUND-UP!!!

          • mehoo

            Too bad, Kev. You say abusive, mean things, you can’t just whine when others call you on it.

          • Maria

            Civil liberties for everyone! Unless Kev doesn’t like them. Then round ’em up! Who needs civil liberty?


  • AllenB

    Just a thought, but maybe the amount we as a County spend on the homeless has actually moved that figure. Maybe our spending has worked in moving many of the homeless to non-homeless. Could the county be doing something right?

    • CrystalMikey


    • BoredHouseWife

      Thank goodness for some common sense.

      what was sad to read that 38 percent are employed and 112 out of 193 are kids.

    • mehoo

      Perish the thought.

      Taxes are low and not getting higher, crime is down, homelessness down….

    • Lou

      Regionally the homeless population increased. Maybe they are just being homeless somewhere other than Arlington.

      • KalashniKEV

        That was before the word got out- now we all know A-SPAN is “a real treat” for jobless vagrants and child rapists.

        • mehoo

          Maybe you’ll be homeless someday, Kev. That would be a major karma thing. But no, that could never happen.

      • AllenB

        But the common cry, at least in this little echo chamber, is that if we spend more and do more for the homeless, then we will attract them from all over the region. That doesn’t seem to be happening, based on the numbers in that presentation.

        • Southeast Jerome

          And all it takes is a string of bad luck incidents to end up homeless (accident leading to job loss leading to foreclosure/eviction etc)

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Southeast Jerome, you are right. Being homeless could happen to any of us. I don’t like vagrancy and panhandling but I also don’t believe for that all homeless persons are criminals (rapists, robbers, etc.) or lazy and don’t want to work. I wonder how many of them are people who a had string of bad luck incidents to end up homeless (accident leading to job loss leading to foreclosure/eviction etc), or those who are working (the 38% according to the article) may be paid so little that they cannot afford a place to live.

          • RosRes

            ALso, many homeless people are homeless due to serious mental health issues. They fall through the cracks and end up on the streets.

          • Southeast Jerome

            Yeah and its easy to think of homeless people in a certain light (its their fault yada yada yada)

            But a few observations I have is that a lot of these people have severe mental problems or some type of physical handicap.

            The saddest part of all of this is the sheer number of children that are homeless, thats just not right. You are simply setting up a path to criminal behavior by allowing that to happen.

          • JusticeForall

            There but for the grace of god go we all.

    • RosRes

      +1000 AllenB

  • St.Mary’sParishioner

    I think the statistical “drop” in the homeless population is due to a number of factors. There have been some successes transitioning families from homeless> transitional housing> permanent housing through organizations such as Samaritan Ministries. Part of the drop is probably due to homeless being displaced into other areas. Arlington, liberal Democratic bastion that it claims to be, has recently made some moves that are certainly not pro-homeless or pro-low income. An example is the relocation of the Arlington Free Clinic, which is primarily funded through philanthropic donations, not tax money. When the county decided to relocate the clinic, it promised that they would provide transit service, by routing buses by the clinic. Now they are reniging on that pledge.

    • South Arlington

      How much transit do they need? It’s at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed. There’s at least 1 bus every 10 minutes that goes through there, probably more during peak hours.

  • MC

    I would love to believe these numbers – homelessness is a tragedy. But my observational knowledge tells me there has been no drop in homelessness in Arlington. I see fresh faces all the time in the Va Sq area, people coming to the food lines by the church or hanging out by the central library or in Quincy park. The people I see daily often arrive by Metro, suggesting they don’t necessarily “live” in Arlington. I have seen a number of homeless people exit the Metro station, paying their fare, to arrive for meals.

    • Maria

      Arlington is much bigger than the Va. Square/Ballston area. Maybe there have been more in that area in the past couple of years (I think I might agree with you on that), but that doesn’t mean the overall numbers in all of Arlington haven’t dropped.

    • boo

      The homeless accounting took place on January 26 — the day of the infamous “Commutageddon”, with dire warnings of disaster and closing of schools and businesses all day culminating in a rush hour storm which dumped snow so quickly that tens of thousands were stranded on the roads. While I doubt that our local homeless were stuck in traffic on the Parkway, the abnormal situation of that day as well as those that followed (the accounting was stopped midway through the afternoon and completed the following day — which completely defeats the “one point in time” approach of the accounting. The numbers, unfortunately, are completely invalid and can’t be used to draw any meaningful conclusions.

  • Jan at A-SPAN

    The Executive Director at A-SPAN, Kathy Sibert, issued a statement about the Point-In-Time Count this year with regard to the “thunder-snow” that affected the region.

    “It was the count of homeless individuals on the streets that was impacted,” Sibert said. “Normally, the count goes on until midnight, and we have teams of people going to the various encampments – but it was called off at 4 p.m.” While the count was resumed the following night, “due to all the snow on the ground, people had moved from their encampments,” Sibert said. (Full text can be found here: http://www.sungazette.net/articles/2011/04/15/arlington/news/nw81c1b.txt)

    There are many programs operating at A-SPAN that do place clients in housing and prevent evictions, however, it is difficult at any one time to truly know the full count of homeless in a jurisdiction.


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