The above numbers are not duplicative, meaning that each individual or family counted in Missoula Coordinated Entry System was only counted once, for a total of 558 individuals and families. For the family count, it is important to note that only the head of households are enrolled in Missoula Coordinated Entry; this total does not include children or the second parent in two-parent households. We separate individual over 25 years of age and those aged 18-24 because those aged 18-24 are considered Transitional Age Youth, who have unique service needs and targeted resources.
The first four graphics in this series were created from data pulled on October 14th, 2021. If we were to take a snapshot of what houslessness looked like in Missoula on that one day, this is what we would see. The final image represents six months of housing destination data.
The distribution of age amongst unhoused folks in the Missoula Coordinated Entry System is fairly even, with a slight spike for those ages 35-39. A steady decline is visible starting around 50 years of age, as those experiencing houselessness have a lower life expectancy than their housed peers. Healthcare for the Homeless predicts that life expectancy sits around 48 years (to read more, click here). Every year on December 21st, we honor those who have passed in our community at the Homeless Persons' Memorial.
Missoula Coordinated Entry System (MCES) sees a disproportionate representation of Black, Indigenous, and all people of color (BIPOC) in our houseless response system, particularly our Indigenous neighbors.
These charts show that while Native American/Alaskan people make up 1.6% of the total Missoula population, they make up 16% percent of our unhoused neighbors participating in the Missoula Coordinated Entry System. African Americans make up just 0.8% of the total Missoula population but 3.5% of our unhoused neighbors in MCES. White people make up only 74.5% of our unhoused neighbors while making up 91.1% of the total City population. It is essential, too, to note that the above graphic accounts for one day of MCES information. When looking at a year's worth of Primary Race data, we see this disparity is even more significant. To see an example of a yearly assessment of Primary Race, check out pages 4 & 5 of the City of Missoula's Equity in Action report here.
Missoula's unhoused population follow national trends, with single men more represented. The National Alliance to End Homelessness analyzed gender and houselessness in a 2019 report in which they explore some of the explanations of this phenomenon (read more here). The LGBTQIA2S+ community also experiences houselessness disproportionately, particularly young adults (source). Ending houselessness will require consideration of the unique reasons people of all genders become unhoused and what dynamic solutions exist to disrupt those situations.
Even amidst a highly challenging housing market, 56 individuals and families secured permanent housing between April and October 2021. Some households were supported by temporary (rapid rehousing) assistance, others with ongoing long-term subsidies (permanent supportive housing, Veteran subsidy, section 8), while most found housing with family or without continuing subsidy. The persistence and hope it takes to secure housing are no small feat.