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Information from the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness April 2012 report, “Heading Home. Working to End Homelessness, A Five-Year Plan for the City of Evanston,” indicates that 10 percent (7,500) of Evanston’s residents are at risk of becoming or are already homeless. Some 50-75 ETHS students and at least 200 District 65 students are homeless every day. Chronic homelessness can cut lifespan by 20 years. It is estimated that 70 percent of homeless persons were homeless as a child. A chronically homeless person who lives on the street costs the community $50,000 annually; the same person with housing and support costs $20,000 annually. Over their lifespan’s, children who are homeless and live in poverty cost the community $40,000 in lost productivity. The Heading Home report can be accessed at www.cityofevanston.org.
• At-risk due to financial reasons = 3,500–4,500
This is an estimate based on the number of very-low-income households currently-spending more than 50% of their income on rent. According to the City of Evanston’s 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan, although still drawing on the 2000 census data, there are 2174 such households in Evanston. But given that these are households, we are estimating an average household size of 1.5 to 2 household members.
But this number could be much larger. There are 4344 households in Evanston that are spending more than 50% of their income on rent, mortgage and utilities, including 700 households whose income falls between 50% and 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), and 1070 whose income falls between 30% and 50% of AMI. The higher-income households may be less at risk than those below 30% of AMI. Another way of looking at the at-risk population is to look at the number of people living below the poverty line. According to the 2000 census this number stood at 8240.
• At-risk due to social and personal reasons = 1,000–1,500
Throughout their life, one in four women experience domestic violence.
Foreclosures impact many: 172 households filed for foreclosure in the first half of 2011.
The police department reports that between two and five people are released from jail or prison each month.
• Doubled Up = 500-700
The doubled-up population is households who have lost their own housing and have moved in with family or friends.
District 65 reports about 200 children living in doubled-up situations in 2011-12.
District 202 was tracking 100 youth living in doubled up situations in 2011-12.
Presumably there are at least 100 to 200 parents attached to those 300 children.
The Evanston Alliance on Homeless Point-In-Time count found that 30% of those counted on the street were living temporarily with other people. Based on a homeless street-count of 630, that means that 189 were living doubled up.
• Shelter and Transitional Housing = 250-350
Connections sheltered 110 individuals at Hilda’s Place in FY11.
YWCA sheltered 259 women and children in FY11.
Family Promise sheltered 31 in FY11.
During FY11 Connections provided transitional housing to 50 persons in families.
• On the Street = 500-700
In FY11, Connections worked with 630 individuals living on the streets of Evanston, and had open cases on 100 others.