At first glance, the number of homeless children and young adults in Indianapolis jumped dramatically between 2017 and 2018.
A 2018 count revealed 183 youths experiencing homelessness, an increase of nearly 100 young people compared to 2017.
But officials believe the methodology was better in the most recent count, leading to a more accurate number of reported homeless children, teens and adults.
Instead of inviting youths to a central location, the people counting went into Indianapolis neighborhoods to find out how many homeless people there were in 2018.
The counts are conducted by the Coalition For Homelessness Intervention and Prevention.
“While this comparison between 2017 and 2018 shows a significant increase, I caution people to say it’s an authentic increase,” said Chelsea Haring-Cozzi, the executive director of CHIP. “I really think it’s a better capacity to get data this year. We included data we hadn’t in 2017. It’s not an apples to apples comparison between the two years.”
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are nearly 41,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in America.