Louisville homeless study looks for solutions

Study on homelessness in Louisville looks for solutions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On any given night, it’s estimated a thousand homeless people are in need of services in Louisville.

That demand is expected to grow as the population ages.

A five-month, $50,000 study conducted by the University of Louisville and paid for by the city of Louisville produced recommendations to address the changing needs of the city’s homeless.

Mayor Greg Fischer is critical of the lack of federal funding for programs that could help. He’s warned the problem could get worse.

“We are going to have a tsunami of elderly homeless people in not just our city, throughout the United States of America,” Fischer said. “Grandma and grandpa, and great-grandma and grandpa are the ones we’re going to be seeing on the street next. Are we going to say that’s OK, too?”

A key recommendation was to address the city’s lack of affordable housing.

In Louisville, 30,000 low income housing units are needed to house families making $25,000 or less.

“We probably need another 400 beds of shelter to meet our need a given night,” Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Natalie Harris said. “But the real need is for affordable housing.”

Another recommendation was to expand the number and locations of low barrier shelters that can meet the needs of specific groups within the homeless population.

The city is already seeing more families and young people being driven into homelessness by poverty.

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