Source: Glen Ellyn Patch
While statistics show that homelessness in DuPage County decreased last year, officials say the numbers do not reflect a decline in demand for emergency shelter services.
According to the DuPage Homeless Continuum of Care, during Fiscal Year 2012, a total of 1,384 men, women and children stayed in an emergency shelter in DuPage County or accessed emergency shelter services, but did not stay overnight. Of that number, 142 were families with children under the age of 18. During Fiscal Year 2011, 1,460 people utilized emergency shelters and of that total 258 were families with children under the age of 18.
Carol Simler, executive director of DuPage PADS and member of the Continuum of Care, said homelessness affects people of all ages, races and ethnicities. Those most at risk suffer from job loss, domestic abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, disabling health conditions or lack life skills or the ability to live on their own.
“Some people may think the number of homeless is not significant compared to the nearly 1 million people in the County, however, in terms of cost to hospitals, communities and correctional systems, this is a significant number,” she said.
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