Across Arkansas, the state’s homeless population will be counted Thursday night.
The population will be recorded as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s point-in-time count of the nation’s homeless population.
The Arkansas count was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was delayed due to winter weather threatening the region.
The count, first conducted in 2007, is typically done every two years and takes into account homeless people in the country, in protected and unprotected places.
Due to the complex nature of the covid-19 pandemic, Operation Point in Time, conducted in 2022, was the first full tally conducted since 2020, and this year the tally was done again.
Arkansas has five separate Continuum-of-Care counties: Little Rock/Central Arkansas, Fayetteville/Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith, Southeast Arkansas, and the state’s “balance”.
The results of the count for 2022 were published in December. There were 2,459 homeless people in Arkansas counties, up 3.9% from 2020. 1,163 people were considered to be living in protected conditions, up from 1,093 in 2020.
As for the unprotected homeless, their number increased by 23 from 1273 to 1296 people.
Most of the statewide total, 859, were counted in the Little Rock/Central Arkansas area. This is less than the 1,186 people who were counted in 2020.
The number of homeless people in Little Rock has also dropped from 573 in 2020 to 496 in 2022.
The total number of Arkansas residents last year was down 28% from a peak in 2012 of 4,214.
The count in the Little Rock area is organized by the Central Arkansas Homeless Care Team.