The city's thriving real estate market struggles to house everyone.
For the ninth year in the last decade, the homeless population in Franklin County increased again in 2018, according to an annual report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that was published Monday. After a slight drop in the number of people living in homelessness in 2017, the population increased by 6.9 percent this year, continuing an overall decadelong rise, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Two years ago—during a harsh winter that drove homeless people to shelters, which in turn struggled to house them all—Columbus Monthly took a look at the problem in “Scenes From the Front Lines of Homelessness.” Then, as now, experts pointed to rising rents and the affordable housing crisis as the primary factors driving the increase.
The topic of race and the disproportionate number of black people who struggle with homelessness was also a concern. In September 2016, Columbus was among a handful of cities that joined a project called Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities, which aims to examine race and homelessness across the country, and to seek shared solutions to the problem. In March 2018, SPARC released its findings for the first phase of the project, which can be found here.
Here are some resources for people who would like to donate or provide help to the homeless and the organizations that support them:
The Open Shelter, theopenshelter.org
The Homeless Families Foundation, homelessfamiliesfoundation.org
Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, columbushomeless.org
Community Shelter Board, csb.org
Huckleberry House, huckhouse.org
OSU Star House, starhouse.ehe.osu.edu
Lutheran Social Services shelters, lssnetworkofhope.org
Southeast Inc. and Friends of the Homeless, southeastinc.com
Volunteers of America men’s and veteran’s shelter, voaohin.org
YMCA shelters, ymcacolumbus.org/housing
YWCA shelter, ywcacolumbus.org