2024 point-in-time count: Number of homeless people in Nashville falls slightly

A one-night snapshot count shows there were slightly fewer people experiencing homelessness in Nashville in January 2024 compared to a year before, according to results released by the Metro Office of Homeless Services (OHS) on Thursday.

The city’s 2024 point-in-time count identified 2,094 people experiencing homelessness in the city the night of Jan. 25 and early morning of Jan. 26, down 1.6% from the year before.

OHS said the results are encouraging.

“In a high growth city, OHS continues to secure creative housing solutions and innovative resources for our unhoused Nashville Neighbors,” OHS Director April Calvin said.

What is the point-in-time count?

A team from Neighborhood Health approaches a homeless camp to help people on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.
A team from Neighborhood Health approaches a homeless camp to help people on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.

Point-in-time counts give a snapshot of the number of homeless people in a jurisdiction on a given day. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires they be done each year in January.

The count includes people sleeping outside, in cars, in other places not meant for habitation and in shelters or transitional housing. This year, more than 100 volunteers performed the count.

Is homelessness getting worse in Nashville?

The number of homeless people identified in the point-in-time count stayed relatively flat from 2023 to 2024 after an 11% increase from 2022 to 2023.

Overall, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Nashville has tended to fall slightly since 2014, when there were 2,234 identified in the city’s point-in-time count. Metro has identified an average of about 26 fewer homeless people per year over that time, a regression by The Tennessean using Metro data shows. The city did not perform its count in 2021 due to COVID-19.

Metro launched OHS last year to unify the city’s response to homelessness, which was previously spread between several different offices. The city and nonprofit partners in Nashville prioritize housing the most vulnerable people first, part of the city’s mission as a housing-first city.

“We remain unwavering in our commitment to connecting anyone experiencing homelessness with the resources they need to find stable housing” said Mayor Freddie O’Connell.

Evan Mealins is the justice reporter for The Tennessean. Contact him at emealins@gannett.com or follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @EvanMealins.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville homelessness: 2024 point-in-time count shows decrease