Topeka’s Point in Time annual count of unprotected individuals since Jan. 25 shows a jump of 47 individuals and 25 households from last year.
In 2023, the tally showed that 412 people and 322 families were homeless that day in Topeka, up from 365 people and 297 families in 2022. In 2021, 298 were homeless and in 2020, 401 were homeless.
City of Topeka employees and volunteers conducted the annual dawn-to-dusk homeless count on Jan. 25, and the city released the results Thursday. Of the total, “157 people are not hospitalized, which means they are not living in emergency shelter or transitional housing,” the city said in a news release.
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The gender breakdown is 59 percent male and 40 percent female, the city said.
“The rise in the number of homeless people is no surprise to the Topeka/Shawnee County Homeless Task Force,” said Corrie Wright, division director of housing services for Topeka. “It’s imperative that the community work collaboratively to help address these growing numbers.”
The U.S. Department of Housing requires a tally each year to ensure cities can obtain adequate funding needed to provide programs and other needed services for people experiencing homelessness.
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“Long-term solutions” are being sought as homelessness rises in Topeka
The Capital-Journal reported this month that the mayor and city council of Topeka is paying Evanston, Ill.-based Sylver Consulting LLC $76,000 to help Topeka better address homelessness in the capital.
“Under the leadership of City Administrator Stephen Wade and with the support of Topeka’s governing body,” Wright said, “we look forward to working collaboratively with city advisors and community partners to reach solutions long-term”.
Keishera is most recently the business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. She can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @Lately_KT.