Anchorage homeless numbers drop slightly in new report

Nathaniel Herz
Bob Hallinen

A new report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows the number of homeless people in Anchorage dropped slightly between 2012 and 2013, from 1,147 to 1,122.

The report, which is based on observations made in the city on a single night last January, shows that the number of individual homeless people rose from 791 to 844, while the number of homeless people in families dropped sharply, from 356 to 278.

Notably, all the homeless family members were being housed in shelters -- none were found on the street, in contrast to the 15 homeless family members who were observed without shelter in 2012.

Britteny Matero, a division manager at Anchorage's department of health and human services who leads the city's efforts to fight homelessness, said in an email that there has been a "targeted focus on reducing family homelessness in Anchorage and across the nation."

The new data, she said, "does seem to indicate that the focused approach is having some success." Nationwide, the number of homeless people in families dropped by 7 percent, from 239,000 to 222,000.

Matero noted, however, that the city's shelter providers have still been observing definite increases in their overall numbers, even though the report showed little change.

The report is available at this website. (Click on the third link.)

Reach Nathaniel Herz at or 257-4311.