Skip to Content

Homelessness: Overall Numbers Steady, Young Rising

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Homelessness: Overall Numbers Steady, Young Rising

While the number of homeless across the Upper Cumberland remained consistent over the last year, homelessness among young adults has risen.

Homeless Programs Advocate Vivian Walker said the total number of homeless people surveyed in the January around 600, similar to last year’s results.

“We’re seeing, probably the biggest thing, is there’s a huge increase, like, like a ninety percent increase, of persons eighteen to twenty-four,” Walker said. “I’m assuming that that is people who are aging out of foster care with nowhere to go, so they’re ending up in homeless shelters.”

Walker said another contributing factor to homelessness in the region is the lack of affordable housing, especially in more rural counties. She said said the numbers do not represent every single homeless person in the region, only the ones they could find and interview.

“I can tell you that there’s a lot of vouchers for homeless people in their hands if they could find a landlord to accept the voucher,” Walker said. “But there’s a shortage.”

Walker said the data is collected by teams that go to shelters, perform organized outreach, and search for homeless people throughout the different counties. Walker said the information came from an annual study with combined data from the fourteen Upper Cumberland counties as well as Wilson, Roane, Morgan, and Scott counties.

“Basically, there’s teams kind of on a hunt to see, you know, how we find them and what we can learn,” Walker said.

Walker said the survey does not record the name of the individuals, but asks about demographic information such as age, mental health issues, and experience with substance abuse.

“Those kinds of questions that give us some point of where is the problem?” Walker said. “And that information actually goes to HUD.”


The post Homelessness: Overall Numbers Steady, Young Rising appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.