Understanding the Need

The Numbers are Staggering

Within Lake County the situation surrounding homelessness is becoming more serious every day.  Foreclosures, unemployment, catastrophic medical expenses, and extensive housing cost burdens can result in people being forced into situations of homelessness or near homelessness.  

The 2009 Lake County statistics reveal:
  • Nearly 18,000 Lake County citizens were living in poverty,
  • 25,000+ free meals were served to individuals and families in need in Lake County,
  • 3,500 residents requested help during the year to prevent eviction,
  • More than 6,000 households required help with paying rent or utility costs,
  • 1,695 Lake County families lost their homes in foreclosure,
  • Over 2,200 calls were made to 2-1-1 from county residents seeking information on emergency shelter.

The costs associated with homelessness, both visible and hidden, are straining our municipal budgets and stretching the capacity of our existing services.  Throughout the nation, the ‘best practices’ undertaken by progressive municipalities and social service organizations have found that preventing homelessness is a far more cost-effective solution than simply waiting to address homelessness after the fact.  Not all who are poor or need assistance from social services agencies end up homeless, but there is a direct link between poverty and its causes and homelessness. Working to address these root causes helps prevent homelessness and reduces the number of our county’s citizens who are at-risk.

More data behind the numbers:

Local Data

National Data