Thursday, October 17, 2013
Govering.com published an October 10th, 2013 post by J.B. Wogan on How Michigan Got Better at Counting Homeless Veterans. The focus was on how Barbara Ritter, director of the state's "Homeless Management Information System" was annually counting the homeless veterans. Concerned about the accuracy of the numbers, starting in 2012, Ms. Ritter began using a recently perfected "projection formula". The 2012 figures did show an increase, attributed to the better counting but also to a real increase due to veterans who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The author notes that Ms. Ritter's methods could work as an example for other states to test the accuracy of their counting of a segment of their homeless population. The article contains an interview with Ms. Ritter where she explains why the counting is difficult, how the new system led to more accurate figures, and what the numbers are indicating. The report summarizes some of the numbers from the 2012 report including 89% of the homeless vets are male and of those with a documented disability, 59% had "mental health" issues.