Report: Over 58,000 Ohioans were homeless in 2016

Homeless camp near Franklinton (FILE - WSYX/WTTE)

A report shared that over 58,000 Ohioans were homeless in 2016.

The Ohio Human Services Data Warehouse (OHSDW) released that 58,484 were homeless just two years ago. The numbers came from data provided by seven of Ohio's nine Continuum of Care organizations, homeless service providers covering 86 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

OHSDW said the number of homeless persons was more than the entire population of Vinton, Monroe, Noble and Morgan counties combined.

The report, which was shared by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), analyzed data from 2012 to 2016. Between 2012-2016, 163,075 individuals experiencing homelessness received services from the seven Continuum of Care organizations, which covers 86 of Ohio's 88 counties.

“This valuable, first-of-its-kind report in Ohio will aid policy makers in developing strategies to help vulnerable unhoused Ohioans, many of whom are children, veterans and domestic abuse victims,” says Sean Thomas, Executive Director of the OHFA.

Thomas shared that the study found over 30 percent of people seeking homelessness help were children under the age of 18, including 6,257 infants younger than one year of age. Veterans accounted for seven percent.

"Unfortunately, the report also shows that there is no easy solution to homelessness," said the OHFA in a release. "Of those who access homeless prevention services during the study period, 3,500 individuals nevertheless exited the programs to a place not fit for human habitation, including 210 people in households with children."

The agency said it provided $32 million to Continuums of Care statewide to assist in their strategies to end homelessness.

"To address the growing needs of those experiencing homelessness in Ohio, OHFA and its partners remain committed to further studying and addressing the issues that affect Ohioans’ ability to access quality, safe and affordable housing," the agency said.

To read the full report, visit OHFA’s website. For updates on this research, subscribe to OHFA’s Office of Housing Policy email newsletter.

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