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Arlington homeless count up in latest annual data

With exception of Fairfax County, all jurisdictions in region posted year-over-year increase

Best intentions coupled with infusions of taxpayer cash were not enough to reduce homelessness in Arlington year-over-year, according to new data.

The county’s homeless total of 243 counted as part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ annual “point-in-time” survey was up 14 percent from a year before and by far the highest during the COVID era.

Regional and local totals were reported May 21 by COG.

Arlington was not alone; the regional homeless count of 9,774 (based on data from January) was up 12 percent from a year before. Among major jurisdictions across the D.C. region, only Fairfax County (including the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church) saw a decline, with its homeless population dropping 2 percent after a spike in 2023.

The District of Columbia, Arlington, Alexandria, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County all saw year-over-year upticks in the data. As is typical, the District of Columbia in 2024 accounted for more than 55 percent of the region’s total homeless population.

As a percentage of the population, those experiencing homelessness represent 0.1 percent of the Arlington population, compared to 0.11 percent for neighboring Fairfax County and 0.19 percent for the region as a whole (0.09 percent if the District of Columbia is not included).

The count has been taken annually since 2001, and includes both those who are housed in shelters and other supportive housing, as well as those living on the streets.

The greatest proportion of single adults experiencing homelessness is over age 55, the report noted. On the evening of the 2024 count, two individuals over the age of 90 were housed in emergency shelters.

The full report can be found at