UT study: Fewer incidents of first-time homelessness in Knoxvill

UT study: Fewer incidents of first-time homelessness in Knoxville last year

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The city of Knoxville saw 14 percent fewer cases of first-time homelessness in 2012, according to a new University of Tennessee study.

The study also found that agencies that serve the homeless have seen a 4% increased in the number of clients receiving services.

The study, prepared by members of the Knoxville Homeless Management Information System (KnoxHMIS), looked at the effectiveness of those agencies to house and serve the homeless population.

Last year, the study found that agencies served 9,388 individuals and families, 7,773 of whom were homeless.

The total number includes people who are currently homeless, those who were at risk of being homeless and had received homeless prevention services, and those who were formerly homeless and now have permanent housing.

In 2012, 561 of the 7,773 people who were homeless were placed in permanent housing, according to the report.

"The challenging part is that the 561 represents only a small percent of those who were homeless, so we need to do more," said David A. Patterson, a UT professor of social work and director of KnoxHMIS.

Since September 2009, Knox County programs have moved 91% of clients into permanent homes, Patterson said.

"What that means is that the work toward preventing homelessness is being effective," he said. "Those programs are finding people who are at risk of homelessness or falling into homelessness and are housing them."

You can read the entire report on the University of Tennessee's website.

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