United Way of the Plains

2014 Point-In-Time Homeless Count shows 17.3 percent increase in homelessness in Sedgwick County

WICHITA, Kan., May 1, 2014 — Results of the 2014 Sedgwick County Point-In-Time Homeless Count show an increase in the number of literally homeless individuals since 2013. The survey, which represents only a snapshot of homelessness on one specific night, found that on January 30, 2014, an estimated 631 people in Sedgwick County experienced literal homelessness—up from 538 in 2013 (according to the definition from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD]; see below). The number of homeless veterans increased from 56 identified in the 2013 count to 62 in 2014 (10.7 percent increase).

The Sedgwick County homeless count continued using a method that it began in 2011: combining the success of street surveys from prior years and a homeless services event at Century II. The event linked participants with needed services and support.

On January 30, 2014, a coalition of community organizations conducted the event and homeless count for Sedgwick County as part of the Point-In-Time Homeless Count. United Way of the Plains provided coordination for the count.

HUD requires a “Point-in-Time Count of Unsheltered Homeless Persons” across the country every two years. Communities need accurate data on homelessness to determine the size and scope of the homeless problem at the local level, plan services and programs appropriately to address local needs, measure progress in addressing homelessness and measure performance of individual programs and the system as a whole. HUD needs data to understand the extent and nature of homelessness throughout the country, to make funding decisions and more.

Summary of 2014 Point-In-Time Homeless Count in Sedgwick County
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Total number of persons who did meet HUD definition of being homeless 473 384 No count 634 550 538 631
Of the total above:
     Number of homeless persons who were sheltered 445 352 No count 526 475 467 548

     Number of homeless person who were unsheltered Includes people who are staying on the streets, under bridges, in a car, etc.

     (Note: “unsheltered” does not mean that there was not shelter space available; it only means the persons were not housed during the time the count was conducted.)

28 32 No count 108 75 71 83


2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Number of persons who were chronically homeless (in above totals)

     According to HUD, a person is considered chronically homeless when he/she is: An unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition* who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more OR has had at least four (4) episodes of homelessness in the past three (3) years.

93 71 No count 140 142 91* 107*
*Beginning in 2013 the HUD definition of chronic homelessness has been refined to limit the count to those whose disabling condition impairs their ability to get or keep a job or take care of personal matters.
Definition of “homeless” for this count

According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a person is considered literally homeless only when he/she resides in one of the following places:

  • A sheltered homeless person resides in:
    • An emergency shelter,
    • Transitional housing for homeless persons who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters
  • An unsheltered homeless person resides in:
    • A place not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, or on the streets

NOTE: This definition does not include people who are staying in a home or hotel/motel, with a friend, in a treatment facility or in the jail.


MEDIA CONTACT: Delane Butler, Vice President of Marketing, (316) 267-1321