MI Homeless Population is Shrinking
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has shared its latest report, Ending Homelessness in Michigan, which shows our state’s homeless population may be shrinking as Michigan is working to end homelessness.
What the data tells us:
- The homeless population is decreasing in Michigan. The data shows that between 2014 and 2016 the total homeless population in Michigan dropped by 9 percent.
- The homeless veteran population has decreased by 16 percent.
- MSHDA attributes these decreases to “improved coordination of care” and prioritized resources.
- In 2016 there was an estimated 66,483 homeless people in Michigan, down from more than 73,000 in 2014.
- Almost all 10 regions in the lower and upper peninsula saw a decrease in homelessness except Mid-Michigan, and the region which includes Livingston, Washtenaw, Monroe, Lenawee and Jackson counties.
- Of the various subgroups of the homeless population, the number of homeless seniors increased by 9 percent.
- About 85 percent of the total homeless population had health care coverage in 2016. Of those who were part of a family unit, 91 percent of homeless adults, children, veterans and those considered chronically homeless were covered by health insurance last year, with the majority receiving coverage through Medicaid. The state credits the coverage to the Healthy Michigan Plan which is provided through the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
MSHDA also shared how our state is performing with the key indicators of reducing new episodes of homelessness, reducing the length of time a person is homeless, increasing the number of people transitioning to stable and permanent housing and reducing the number of people returning to homelessness.
Key 2016 stats include:
- Of the more than 5,581 families discharged from a program, 3,397 families were connected with permanent housing and 1,343 families were connected with temporary housing which may include family, friends, transitional housing, etc.
- The average length of homelessness for a family with children was 73 days, the average length of time for all homeless people is 92 days.
- There were 5,414 unaccompanied youth (those without adults present) who were homeless in 2016. Of those discharged, 3,950 were connected with permanent housing and 1,790 were given temporary housing.
- Unaccompanied youth were homeless on average 49 days.
While there’s notable progress in this latest report there is a trend that MSHDA highlights as an area of concern, with African Americans adversely affected by homelessness. African Americans make up 53 percent of Michigan’s homeless population, yet account for 14 percent of our state’s overall population.
MSHDA shares that “More research and systems improvement is needed to address the impact homelessness has on the lives of African Americans, people with disabilities, senior citizens and single parent households with very young children.”
A few of the most recent highlights of work underway around the state includes:
- Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan provided a grant to Wayne State University to support a food pantry to students who may be homeless or facing food insecurity. Since it opened earlier this year, the pantry has provided about 300 students with food.
- Cass Tiny Homes community in Detroit, led by nonprofit Cass Community Social Services, just had its first residents move in earlier this month. More tiny homes are planned for the development which is focused on providing safe, affordable housing to low-income individuals, often formerly homeless individuals. Rent is calculated by the square footage, with the housing ranging between 250 and 400 square feet.
- Grand Rapids Community Foundation provided a grant earlier this year to Arbor Circle to facilitate community planning efforts for the needs of area LGBTQ homeless youth.
Shifting Perceptions for a Robust Workforce
As Michigan works to prepare our youth for the evolving needs of our future workforce, a priority recognized by the state, we’re learning that more high school students are enrolling in Michigan’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school programs.
The Michigan Talent and Economic Development Department recently shared that our state’s CTE programs have added 5,000 high school students since 2015, the first positive two-year enrollment trend the programs have seen in years.
CTE programs link students with training and skills to connect to high-skilled professional trade jobs in Michigan.
“The increase in CTE enrollment is an encouraging sign as we look to eliminate stereotypes surrounding these programs and build a more robust and diverse talent pipeline in Michigan,” Roger Curtis, director, Talent and Economic Development Department said.
Michigan’s CTE programs by the numbers:
- Since 2015 our CTE programs have added 5,000 high school students
- More than 109,000 Michigan high school students are enrolled in CTE programs
- The largest increase in enrollment was among 11th and 12th graders
As CMF reported earlier this year while highlighting Michigan Future’s Report, our state is 16 percent below the national average in wages, therefore we need high-paying jobs with a skilled workforce that can adapt to a future where computers and automated machines will likely fill some jobs.
Governor Rick Snyder has identified Michigan’s talent gap as a high-priority area, launching the Going PRO Campaign to change the perception of professional trades and encourage students to consider skilled trade jobs.
The governor’s office shared the value of these jobs in Michigan’s economy stating that:
- Professional trades will account for more than 500,000 jobs in the Michigan economy by 2024, accounting for 16 percent of all job growth during that period.
- Professional trades are projected to grow 50 percent faster than the statewide average during that time.
- The median wage for professional trades occupations is 45 percent higher than the Michigan statewide median wage for all occupations.
There are efforts underway statewide to address Michigan’s talent gap and support workforce development, for instance TechHire, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation is holding training sessions for Detroiters, led by Quicken Loans.
The Daily Reporter shared last week that Kellogg Community College, (the foundation arm is a CMF member), just announced a new initiative that’s aimed at connecting teens and adults to workforce training, especially in technical skills. It’s supported by a grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation and will focus on “serving vulnerable neighborhoods and people of color, who historically have been marginalized and endured higher rates of unemployment and socioeconomic distress.”
This latest news of increased CTE enrollments aligns with the vision and recommendations from the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance. As CMF reported earlier this summer, the alliance provided several recommendations to further student success and career development, especially through expanding our CTE programs.
Check out Michigan’s Going PRO Campaign.
Efforts Underway to Tackle Opioid Epidemic
Our state recently joined 39 other states in encouraging Congress to pass the Road to Recovery Act, legislation that would increase access to drug treatment by removing the exclusion that exists for residential addiction treatment in the Medicaid program.
State officials say this is another move to address our opioid epidemic.
“More people in Michigan died from drug overdoses than from car accidents in 2015,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said. “The ‘Road to Recovery’ Act will help those struggling with addiction gain access to treatment, and eliminate a decades-old Medicaid rule that limits high-quality residential treatment programs with proven records of success. We can’t arrest our way out of this problem.”
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund announced last month it’s awarded more than $2.5 million to organizations and programs to combat the opioid epidemic. The Health Fund shared the urgency for action noting that “in Michigan, more death occurs from opioid overdose than traffic or gun-related fatalities and in 2015 doctors wrote 11 million opioid prescriptions — that’s more than one prescription for every man, woman and child in this state.”
What could support for intervention look like in our Michigan communities? A few highlights of The Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s support include:
- Catholic Human Services, Inc.: A grant to support integrated intervention for parents with addiction in the child welfare system. A coordinated care team will work with coordinators, home-based family support workers, therapists, medical providers, legal representatives and beyond to facilitate a stable recovery and reunite the family.
- Wayne State University: The High Touch-High Tech team treats pregnant women struggling with addiction. Two prenatal practices in Grayling and Alpena will pilot it.
This summer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), the BCBSM Foundation, The Michigan Health Endowment Fund and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan formed a partnership to support the Taking Action on Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse in Michigan. This program supports evidence-based programs and projects in as many as seven coalitions formed in Michigan communities over 18 months to identify and implement strategies to prevent opioid abuse.
While philanthropy and government are working to find solutions to this growing public health issue, this month the University of Michigan announced the launch of the Precision Health research initiative.
Precision Health “uses advanced tools and technology to discover the genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that influence a population’s health and provides personalized solutions.”
The first project for Precision Health will be to focus on the opioid epidemic.
U of M shares that Precision Health will:
- Identify risk factors that might increase the likelihood of someone becoming a chronic opioid user based on their health, genetics, social, environmental and lifestyle factors.
- Create guidelines to tailor pain management plans and reduce opioid prescriptions.
An online medical publication reports that the opioid project will use data collected from 35,000 patients throughout Michigan to study and identify treatment strategies.
Check out Precision Health.
Connect with CMF’s Health Funders Affinity Group.
2017 Community Foundation Databook
CMF has released the 2017 Community Foundation Databook which examines assets, grants, gifts, finance and operations and program and mission-related investments among Michigan community foundations.
About 88 percent of community foundations in the state participated in the annual survey.
Highlights of the data include:
Total annual grants made by field of interest, the top three include:
- Education and instruction, $48.4 million
- Arts, culture and humanities, $21.4 million
- Public affairs, society benefit, $20.3 million
- Public affairs, society benefit garnered the top spot in largest grant totals by field of interest at $19.2 million. This was due to grants from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan’s (CFSEM) supporting organization, Foundation for Detroit’s Future (FDF), that manages the “Grand Bargain.” Due to the terms of the plan CFSEM saw a jump in grants in 2016.
- 24 percent of community foundations who responded do program related investments (PRIs)
Check out the 2017 Community Foundation Databook.