Glory Hole releases information from recent survey of the homeless

The Glory Hole, with the help of 35 community volunteers, conducted the second street outreach Vulnerability Index Survey for the homeless on Sept. 29-30. Results from the survey are now available for review.

The Vulnerability Index Survey assesses respondents’ likelihood of premature death on the street. The assessment takes into account factors such as age, length of time on the streets, internal illness, mental health, substance abuse, and recent emergency room, hospital, detox center, and jail patterns. Sixty-nine individuals experiencing homelessness in Juneau were interviewed during this year’s outreach efforts. Some of the data from the 2015 Vulnerability Index Survey indicates that:

• 40 out of 69 individuals had a VI score of 1 or more, indicating high vulnerability. Individuals with a vulnerability score of 1 or more are likely to die on the street;

• Vulnerable individuals were homeless for an average of 9 years, 4 months;

• Most surveyed reported that job loss was the primary reason for being homeless;

• A disproportionate percentage of those interviewed were Alaska Native People;

• Only 40 percent of those surveyed are using the current shelter system – the majority are sleeping outdoors or in places not meant for habitation;

• 97 percent of those surveyed reported having been to jail with vulnerable individuals having been jailed significantly more than their non-vulnerable counterparts.

Efforts continue to house the community’s local chronic homeless population through development of 32 units of permanent supportive housing by the Juneau Housing First Collaborative. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016. The project needs to raise 2.5 million dollars before it can break ground. For details on the housing project, or to contribute, visit the Juneau Community Fund webpage for the project at www.juneaucf.org/JuneauHousingFirstProject.html or The Glory Hole website at http://www.feedjuneau.org/.

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