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Press releases: IHFA, Inovus Solar

Idaho homeless numbers decrease 6 percent

A statewide count of homeless people in Idaho conducted by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association and regional housing coalitions indicates there are 2,199 homeless in the state, over a 6 percent decrease from the 2,346 registered last year, according to Maria Ortega, IHFA media relations officer.

Of those who identified, 1,310 were single individuals or members of adult-only households and 297 were households of two or more persons consisting of at least one adult and one child (889 total people in households). The numbers indicate that 25 percent of the homeless in Idaho are minors, 24 percent suffer from substance abuse, 17 percent from mental illness, 23 percent are victims of domestic violence and 15 percent are veterans, Ortega said in a release.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all Continuums of Care who receive funding through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to count the number of unsheltered and sheltered homeless people and families in Idaho during one night in the month of January every year. Volunteers count those homeless they encounter and add the data to that collected by shelters, transitional houses, and other service providers via the Homeless Management Information System.

The Point-in-Time count, as the report is called, is the only resource available to obtain information on the unsheltered homeless.

“Since many homeless people do not use shelters, they will be left out of the equation completely if only data from shelters was used,” said James Gruber, IHFA’s Grant Programs manager.

Currently, Idaho receives over $3 million for programs that serve the homeless. The data from this count helps determine the amount of funding awarded for the state’s homeless programs. The data also helps to understand the changes in trends among the homeless populations and raise public awareness of homelessness.

Inovus Solar installs six on-grid solar light poles at WinCo Foods

Inovus Solar has installed six new solar-enhanced light poles at a WinCo Foods store in downtown Boise, according to Reid Carley of Inovus Solar’s business development department.

In a pilot project to test the new technology, WinCo Foods replaced half of the existing high-pressure sodium lights with Inovus Solar On-Grid Solar Light Poles. This has allowed for a side-by-side comparison of the old and new lighting technologies. A display screen at the entrance to the store shows customers the quantifiable benefits of solar-enhanced lighting.

Features of the six Inovus Solar On-Grid Solar Light Poles include:

• Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity during the day, helping the store reduce energy consumption.

• Energy efficient LED light fixtures illuminate the parking lot at night, saving 80 percent of the electricity used by the old high-pressure sodium lights.

• Wireless communication technology records real-time data on energy generation by the solar panels, energy consumption by the light fixtures, and the overall health of the lighting systems.

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