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Results of Annual Homeless Count Announced

Results of Annual Homeless Count Announced

FRANKFORT, Ky.— Today, Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) released the results of the 2017 K-Count, a “point-in-time” count of homeless Kentuckians living on the streets, in emergency shelters, or other temporary housing programs in the Balance of State (118 counties outside of Fayette and Jefferson) during a single night. Due to separate funding streams, Louisville and Lexington conduct their own counts*.

The count, conducted on January 25, 2017, identified 4,025 men, women, and children experiencing homelessness across the state. KHC is responsible for coordinating the count of persons experiencing homelessness for the Kentucky Balance of State (BoS)—118 counties outside of Fayette and Jefferson.

Louisville-Jefferson County identified 1,034 persons, Lexington-Fayette County identified 1,051, and the BoS identified 1,940.

Of the 1,940 reported in the BoS, 27 percent were unsheltered, 55 percent were in emergency shelters, and 18 percent were in transitional housing programs.

Among youth, age 24 or younger, 135 identified as unaccompanied, which means they were living without an adult member of the household age 25 or older and without a child in their care. Among the same age group (24 and under), 42 persons identified as parenting youth, which means they have at least one child in their care and are living without an adult member of the household age 25 or older.

The tables below summarize the findings of the 2017 count for the Kentucky Balance of State.

Number of Homeless Persons in the Kentucky Balance of State**





Number of persons in households with at least one adult and one child (“families with children”)




Number of persons in households without children




Number of persons in households with children only

(under age 18 with no adult present)




Total persons





Homeless Subpopulations





Chronically Homeless Persons***








Adults with a Serious Mental Illness




Adults with a Substance Use Disorder




Adults with HIV/AIDS




Adult Victims of Domestic Violence





“While it is encouraging to see the overall number of people experiencing homelessness identified during the annual K-Count decrease year-over-year, the reduction is not significant enough to claim victory. Based on information provided by people through the K-Count and through our Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), the vast majority of people were homeless for the first time. This tells us that preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place is essential, if we are to truly address the crisis for these families,” said Kathryn Peters, executive director of Kentucky Housing Corporation. “The lack of affordable housing remains one of the biggest barriers to preventing homelessness and getting people rehoused as quickly as possible when they do become homeless. The work of KHC, in partnership with many organizations throughout the state, to increase and preserve affordable housing options is more important than ever. This work is funded predominately through the federal government, and without these vital resources, the number of people experiencing homelessness is almost certain to increase.”  

For families living in poverty or close to the poverty threshold, or living paycheck to paycheck, a costly repair, illness or accident, or job loss can be catastrophic and thrust a family into homelessness. Families who face homelessness must often make difficult choices and choose which necessity they need and can afford. They are unable to pay for food, childcare, healthcare, education, and housing so stable housing is dropped. They will live in their car, couch surf between family and friends, or live in places not meant for human habitation. Living in harsh and unsafe environments, skipping meals, not getting adequate nutrition and healthcare increases the negative risks for these families and the quality of their future.  

*Numbers included in this release do not include Fayette and Jefferson Counties. HUD considers these areas of the state a separate Continuum of Care; therefore, Fayette and Jefferson Counties are not included in the Balance of State numbers.  For the 2017 count, Lexington-Fayette County reported 1,051 persons and Louisville-Jefferson County reported 1,034 persons. Total homeless counted in all of Kentucky was 4,025.


**To be included in the K-Count, persons must meet HUD’s definition of homelessness, as defined in defined in paragraphs (1)(i) and (1)(ii) of the homeless definition in 24 CFR 578.3.

***To be considered chronically homeless, a person must 1) live in a place not meant for human habitation or an emergency shelter, 2) have been homeless for at least 1 year or have been homeless four or more separate occasions in the past 3 years where the combined length of time homeless in those occasions is at least 12 months, and 3) have a disability.

For more information about the K-Count, visit KHC’s website under Specialized Housing:

To view the county-by-county breakdown of the 2017 K-Count for all 120 counties in Kentucky, follow this link:​
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 based on race; color; religion; sex; national origin; sexual orientation; gender identity; ancestry; age; disability; or marital, familial, or veteran status.​