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Kentucky’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness: Update 2009 Released

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Charla Jackson Peter

December 23, 2009

(502) 564-7630, ext. 454

Kentucky’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness:  Update 2009 Released

Governor Steve Beshear announced his support for Kentucky’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness:  Update 2009 today, Wednesday, December 23.

“The Commonwealth has continued to make significant strides toward finding solutions to homelessness since the plan’s creation in 2005 under the guidance of the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness,” said Governor Beshear.  “The plan now includes regional strategies, which are unique to each area.  The causes and, therefore, solutions of homelessness vary from region-to-region.  These regional strategies enable state and local officials and service agencies to better address the needs of the homeless in their communities.”

Also reflected in the update is the increase and severity of economic challenges since the plan’s origination.  Of special note has been the impact of Kentuckians living precariously housed, referring to those who are doubled- or tripled-up with family or friends, living in substandard housing or expecting eviction within one week.  It is this population that is likely to become homeless in the near future.  Every year, a statewide Point-In-Time Count of the Homeless is conducted.  The number of precariously housed in the January 2009 count, almost 6,800 excluding Jefferson and Fayette Counties, reflected a 29 percent increase from the previous year.  Because homeless individuals are typically precariously housed before becoming homeless, the inclusion of solutions for the precariously housed is an important piece of the updated plan and demonstrates the state’s commitment to not only assisting those who are currently homeless, but those who are in danger of becoming homeless. 

The results of a two-year study conducted by the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville showed that it cost nearly $89 million over a two-year period to shelter and care for just over 7,000 single homeless adults.  The study also showed that providing permanent housing to these individuals over the two-year period would have saved $6.4 million.  This study, and others like it, demonstrates that providing permanent, supportive housing is the best and most cost-effective solution to homelessness.

With a mission to coordinate and influence policy across Kentucky to end homelessness, the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness (KICH) has determined the necessity to formulate measures to prevent the causes of homelessness.  These include working with state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet officials on re-entry steps for parolees to help create stable and productive lives outside of the corrections system.  Similar steps are being undertaken with Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services officials to train case managers and other staff across the state in assisting clients with the application process for disability insurance.  The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association is in the early stages of developing supportive housing units for survivors of domestic violence.  Kentucky’s Housing and Emergency Assistance Reaching The Homeless program, which stems from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, assists the homeless with housing and helps prevent those on the brink of homelessness or precariously housed from becoming homeless.

The Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness:  Update 2009 additionally includes progress-to-date reports of several programs administered by Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC).  Recovery Kentucky is a program that helps Kentuckians with drug addiction and has created several recovery centers across the state in the last three years.  Safe Havens helps move the homeless toward self-sufficiency through case management, which has served more than 2,000 individuals and families in its first two years.  From summer 2008 when the Kentucky Homeownership Protection Center was opened following its creation by the 2008 Kentucky General Assembly until July 2009, 4,445 contacts were received from homeowners facing foreclosure or fearing foreclosure.

“According to the 2009 Kentucky Point-In-Time Count of the Homeless this past January, nearly 6,000 homeless persons were in the state,” said Governor Beshear.  “This figure is larger than the populations of at least four counties in Kentucky.  As we read in the ten-year plan update, there is no single contributing factor to homelessness.  It is only when we understand how one becomes homeless that we can eliminate this problem, which is what we are working toward here in the Commonwealth.”

To review a copy of the Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness:  Update 2009, visit www.kyhomeless.org.  To volunteer to help with the 2010 Point-In-Time Count on January 28, 2010, contact KHC’s Laurent Houekpon toll-free in Kentucky at (800) 633-8896 or (502) 564-7630, extension 304; TTY 711; or e-mail lhouekpon@kyhousing.org.  For more information about KICH or homelessness in Kentucky, contact KHC’s Melissa Benton toll-free in Kentucky at (800) 633-8896 or (502) 564-7630, extension 421; TTY 711; or e-mail mbenton@kyhousing.org.

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www.kyhousing.org

Kentucky Housing Corporation, the state housing finance agency, was created by the 1972 General Assembly to provide affordable housing opportunities.  As a self-supporting, public corporation, Kentucky Housing offers lower-than-market rate home mortgages, housing production financing, homeownership education/counseling, rental assistance, housing rehabilitation and supportive housing programs for special needs populations.

Kentucky Housing Corporation prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, age, disability or veteran status.