By Eric Blaisdell. Reposted from the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, July 28, 2013.
“It’s anyone’s guess how many people are actually homeless in Vermont.
They aren’t exactly lining up to be counted, and the ones who have been identified represent only a fraction of the total homeless population.
The lack of reliable data has undermined the efforts of advocates for the homeless while providing political cover for policy makers, experts in the field say.
Moreover, the incomplete count has made it more difficult to secure adequate funding to combat the problem, and direct aid to where it’s needed most.
However poor the data, the problem is undeniably severe.
Surveys of the homeless population show a sharp climb in recent years, coinciding with the onset of an economic recession that began taking its toll in 2008. Tropical Storm Irene dealt another blow in 2011, when residents of devastated communities lost access to shelter…”