Half of DougCo’s unhoused population new to experiencing homelessness

Heather Willard

Photo byMetro Denver Homeless Initiative

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Feb. 1, 2023

(Douglas County, Colo.) The Metro Denver Homeless Initiative released preliminary data from the 2023 annual point-in-time survey, showing that Douglas County’s homeless population has remained similar to 2022. Still, many are experiencing being unhoused for the first time.

This is the first full count since 2020, as there was no regional count of individuals staying outdoors in 2021, and imputation and extrapolation were used to create the data published in 2022.

According to the 2022 Colorado Point-In-Time count conducted the night of Jan. 24, Douglas County has 78 unhoused individuals living in its borders — the same amount as reported in 2022. Last year represented a 47% higher population count than 2021; however, the initiative cautioned against year-over-year comparisons, citing variables like volunteer engagement and weather leading to variations in data collection.

Of the seven counties included in the count — Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson, and the city of Aurora — Douglas County had the smallest homeless population. Neighboring Arapahoe County reported 514 unhoused individuals, and Jefferson County reported 493 of the total 6,884 individuals counted in the region.

According to the count, half of the unhoused individuals in Douglas County are experiencing homelessness for the first time. The regional average is one in three.

Additionally, there are 10.5 times as many Black or African American individuals in the homeless population relative to the general Douglas County population. The race accounted for 20% of Douglas County’s homeless population, compared to 1.9% of the general population. The U.S. Census Bureau reports 88.7% of DougCo’s population is white, and only 80% of the homeless population was reported to be white.

Most of Douglas County’s homeless appear to be male, with 48 counted. According to an age breakdown of the county’s data, most of the unhoused population is between 35-64 years old (53), and nine were reported to be juveniles (under 18 years old). Two juveniles were reported to be unaccompanied youths.

Of the 78 individuals counted, 28 were determined to be chronically homeless. Of that sub-population, 22 were male.

Additionally, on Jan. 24 only 28 of the 78 homeless individuals counted in Douglas County were sheltered — in emergency shelters or transitional housing. The rest were sleeping on the streets or in another area not meant for human habitation.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

Broomfield, CO

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