City of Topeka releases 2023 ‘Point in Time Homeless Count’ numbers

Topeka and Shawnee County’s homeless population is at a four-year high, according to numbers released Thursday from the City of Topeka’s annual Point in Time Homeless Count.

The count took place on January 25. The one-day event provides a snapshot of the individuals in the community who are experiencing homelessness, as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). More than 40 people helped with this year’s count.

According to the count, 412 people and 322 households are experiencing homelessness in Topeka and Shawnee County. 59% of those who are homeless are male, while 40% are female. 157 people are unsheltered, meaning they are not living in an emergency shelter or in transitional housing.

“The increase in the number of unsheltered homeless is no surprise to the Topeka/Shawnee County Homeless Task Force,” said Corrie Wright, Division Director of Housing Services for the City of Topeka. “It is imperative that the community works collaboratively to help address these growing numbers. Under City Manager Stephen Wade’s leadership, and with support from the Topeka Governing Body, we look forward to working collaboratively with the city’s consultant and community partners to reach long-term solutions.”

Below is a chart that breaks down the numbers from the previous four counts. For a more detailed look at the 2023 numbers, visit

  2020 2021 2022 2023
People 401 298 365 412
Households 306 254 297 322
# of Veteran Households 40 16 37 25
# of Individuals in an Emergency Shelter 254 155 163 194
# of Individuals in Transitional Housing 51 38 54 61
# of Individuals Unsheltered 68 105 148 157


To receive funding for programs, HUD requires communities complete a count each year. The count ensures the city can obtain the appropriate level of funding to be able to provide needed services to those experiencing homelessness and those at risk for homelessness.