I often see people throw out statements on Facebook and other social platforms that sound good, but leave me wondering if they are true. They throw these statements into the conversation to support their stance on a topic. Many times when I ask for the source of these claims, things tend to go silent.
Some numbers shouldn’t be casually toss around. This was the case this past week when a person tossed out a statement regarding the number of homeless people in Hamilton County. If there is one homeless person there is too many. Regardless of how many there are, tossing around unsubstantiated comment about the number of homeless in order to support other arguments borders on tacky.
On the positive side, the comment did prompt me to take a look at what information I could find on the number of homeless in Hamilton County. If homelessness truly had increased as this person stated, then that would be a serious issue.
What I quickly learned is that there are numbers available that can give you an idea of the level homelessness. These numbers come from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (ihcda.in.gov). They provide a snapshot of the number of homeless on a given point in time. While this number can change on a daily basis, the number does provide a snapshot into the situation.
The IHCDA Point-in-Time (PiT) report breaks out numbers by regions. Hamilton County (Indiana) is actually Region 8 in their reporting. In looking at the reports, it is easy to compare 1/29/2014 to 1/29/2015 to see if homeless did increase in Hamilton County.
What you will find from the numbers is that homeless actually appears to have dropped:
|Number of Households||20||7|
|Number of persons under 18||1||5|
|Number of persons 18-24||4||0|
|Number of persons over 24||21||8|
As can be seen by these statistics, the number of households did not drastically increase, but istead, it is less than half of what was seen in 2014. The number of individuals also dropped in half going from totals of 26 down to 13. Unfortunately, the impact on children jumped up on this date in 2015.
If you are in a different county in Indiana, you might be interested in the numbers for your area. You can find the stats at
If you click on the Continuum of Care tab, you’ll be able to find the PiT information for all regions of Indiana.
To summarize this blog post, you should now throw out statements on social media that you cannot substantiate, especially when they are on topics as substantial as homelessness. There is definitely homelessness in Indiana and in Hamilton County. Fortunately, based on Point-in-Time data, it appears that 2015 could be better than 2014 as far as the number of homeless. I say this cautiously, however, because the PiT numbers don’t take into consideration every situation, nor do they show what is happening day-by-day. Of course, I stand by my earlier statement, one homeless person is too many.