Survey finds over 130 homeless

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A recent count of homelessness in the CNMI resulted in the discovery of 138 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on Saipan alone.

According to the Point-In-Time data collected of the homeless count that was held back in January, of the 138 homeless individuals on Saipan, 99 are adults and 39 children.

The CNMI Homeless Coalition under the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. handed out a total of 337 questionnaires on homelessness during the second annual count in January.

The coalition had more time to prepare for this year’s count and were able to conduct the count as thoroughly as possible by differentiating actual homeless individuals from sheltered homeless individuals.

According to the data acquired, the annual homeless count netted 96 unsheltered homeless, 63 of whom are adults and 33 children.

The data also included the number of sheltered homeless and there were a total of 22 sheltered homeless individuals, all adults.

The data also included the number of service-based homeless and there were a total of 14 service-based homeless adults and six service-based homeless children. Service-based homeless are those availing of the services of Karidat and other community shelters.

During this year’s count, the coalition also counted the number of substandard houses on Saipan, as described by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A total of 274 substandard homes were counted and 914 individuals were found residing in these uninhabitable homes. Of the 914 individuals, 648 are adults and 266 are children.

The coalition has already submitted the data acquired to HUD as part of the requirements to avail of the Continuum of Care Grant that will be use to address the CNMI’s homelessness issue.

Over 100 survey questionnaires were given out this year compared to last year.

According to Homeless Coalition chair Vivian Sablan, the more surveys distributed only means that the coalition is reaching out to more individuals.

Sablan said the coalition is preparing to expand the count to Tinian and Rota next year, whether the coalition is granted the COC grant or not, to document the fact that the CNMI also faces a homelessness issue that must be addressed.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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