Roanoke organizations continue to see uptick in homelessness numbers

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke’s homeless assistance organizations are continuing to see an increase in the number of people needing services.

WDBJ7 first reported the city’s point in time count taken in July reported 91 unsheltered homeless individuals. The Least of These Ministry reports more than 540 unsheltered people have come to the organization seeking help since January.

The organization’s founder explained more people are using shower and laundry services, and more people are coming in for meals.

”Earlier this year, we were seeing an average of about 40 to 50 individuals every day we’re open [on Monday, Wednesday and Friday],” Dawn Sandoval said. “Recently, we’ve been seeing between 65 and 75 individuals in a four-hour window. It’s almost doubled.”

WDBJ7 brought this information to Roanoke city officials on the homeless assistance team, who reported they have served nearly 570 unsheltered homeless individuals since January. Officials state the point in time report is a single night count of how many people may be living on the streets.