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Information and Statistics


What does homelessness look like in Polk County?


People experience homelessness in Polk County due to systemic or societal barriers such as:

  •  A lack of affordable and appropriate housing

  •  Financial, mental, cognitive, behavioral or physical challenges

  •  Racism and discrimination

  •  Family conflict or domestic violence  

A diverse group of individuals and families experience homelessness in our community. Populations represented in the homeless response system include:

  • Families,

  • Young adults,

  • Veterans,

  • Those with a disability, and

  • Those who are pregnant or parenting.

While most homelessness services are centered around urban or suburban areas, homelessness also exists in more rural areas of our county.


These numbers come from Point-in-Time Counts, which are conducted in communities across the nation on a single night in January every  year. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to submit this data to qualify for federal homeless assistance funds. While it is only a snapshot of a single night, Point-in-Time Count data helps Homeward plan services and identify gaps and needs in the community. 

The next Point-in-Time Counts will be held January 15-16, 2024.

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