Yes, there are people in Washtenaw County who are currently without homes. In 2014, over 4,666 people experienced homelessness. About 38% of those are families with young children. While you may not see these families, you can trust that they are as deeply impacted by the lack of affordable housing in our community as are single adults.
The root causes of homelessness are many and varied. They include:
- Lack of affordable housing
- Loss of job/employment or underemployment
- Family conflict/domestic violence
- Mental illness
- Chronic medical problems
- Substance use disorders
- Youth aging out of foster care
Every two years in January, Washtenaw County joins more than 3,000 cities and countries across the country to participate in a national effort to measure the scale of homelessness in our community. Called the Point In Time Count, or PIT Count, this snapshot reveals the number of people experiencing homelessness in our shelters and on our streets [unsheltered]. You can see our most recent PIT count reports here:
Want to learn more about Homelessness?
Additional research and studies can be found below:
- National Alliance to End Homelessness - The State of Homelessness in America Report 2016
- National Low-Income Housing Coalition's Out of Reach Report 
- National Alliance to End Homelessness - Homeless Fact Sheets
Additional Information and Resources
- National Alliance to End Homelessness
- National Coalition for the Homeless
- Michigan League for Public Policy
- The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness
- United States Interagency Council on Homelessness [USICH]
- National Low Income Housing Coalition
The one thing that all people experiencing housing instability have in common is the lack of affordable housing. Washtenaw County has the most expensive housing market in the state of Michigan. In Washtenaw County, the standard cost (Fair Market Rent or FMR) of a two-bedroom apartment is $1,019/month. According to the most recent National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s report, in order to be able to afford that, a person would need to be earning at least $19.60/hour. If working at minimum wage ($8.50/hour), a person would have to work 92 hours per week (or 2.3 full-time jobs) to afford a two-bedroom apartment.