Homeless Fact Sheet
For Genesee County
According to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s 2006 baseline data report there are approximately 32,240 homeless people in the State of Michigan. Due to the State’s poor economy and a shortage of affordable housing that number is increasing.
On any given day in Genesee County there are approximately 350 persons who are homeless. This
does not include persons who may be “couch
surfing” or living in campgrounds, cars, or places
not meant for human habitation.
Stereotypical assumptions of the homeless:
They sleep in alleys, under bridges, and in their cars.
They are unemployed.
They are dirty.
suffer from alcohol or drug abuse.
They are mentally ill.
While sometimes this is true, the reality is that the average age of a homeless person in Genesee County is just 9 years old.
The Homeless are middle class citizens who have lost their jobs and their homes to mortgage foreclosures; college graduates; those who work one, two, or three jobs and still do not have sufficient income to have a roof over their heads; seniors who lose their homes to property tax delinquency; veterans; single moms; domestic violence survivors and their children; those who couch surf from one friend’s or relative’s home to another to avoid sleeping on the street; nationwide 39% of all homeless persons are children; most low and middle class families are onepaycheck away from homelessness
Working Together to end Homelessness:
Each County in Michigan is part of a Continuum of Care (CoC) collaborative that addresses homelessness in its
community. The membership of each CoC is composed of those agencies that provide service tothe homeless. Membership includes not only representatives of shelters, but alsothose who provide support services, i.e. community action agencies, and persons who were formally homeless.
Each CoC has developed a 10 Year Plan to positively address and reduce homeless; the groups are now working to achieve the goals and objectives set forth in those
plans. Examples of goals, which the CoC’s are addressing
Prevention of Homelessness
Development of more safe affordable permanent housing Creating Solutions
In 2001, United Way of Genesee County established the Basic Needs System of Care to work collaboratively with the non-profit provider service network, the community and the CoC to address the root cause of poverty and to end