According to the 2017 Continuum of Care point in time survey, The unsheltered figure is up by more than 9 percent compared to two years ago.
In Montana 987 individuals and 542 people in families were counted among the homeless in the state. Of the total 1,529, 64.4 percent live in shelters and the other 35.6 percent live on the streets. That translates into 431 people in Billings. (Billings Gazette Dec 7, 2017).
The Cost of Homelessness:
- Based on service utilization, the estimated cost for serving one homeless person for one year in Billings is $15,534. (City of Billings).
- If 2,000 homeless people lived in Billings for one full year, the cost would exceed $31 million annually. (City of Billings).
- 29.5% of children in Billings live below the poverty line (United State Census Bureau)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines the term homeless under the following broad categories of homelessness (HUD Resource)
- Literally Homeless: An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence
Imminent Risk of Homelessness: Individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence
- Unstably Housed: This is a new category of homelessness, and it applies to families with children or unaccompanied youth (up to age 24) who have not had a lease or ownership interest in a housing unit in the last 60 or more days, have had two or more moves in the last 60 days, and who are likely to continue to be unstably housed because of disability or multiple barriers to employment.
- Fleeing or Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence: This includes spousal or significant other, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening situations related to violence; have no other residence; and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing. This category is similar to the current practice regarding people who are fleeing domestic violence.
Here in our community, at any given time, over 400 individuals are considered homeless.
Some are by choice, Some are because of broken relationships, Some are because of addictions, and for some it is the only life they have ever known.
Our duty at Montana Rescue Mission is to heal the broken and lift up the poor. To assist individuals in overcoming the challenges that led to their current state of homelessness or poverty.