Homelessness is Trending Down in Montgomery County.

A count of those without a permanent place to stay conducted in January found 310 that met the definition of homeless.

That’s 33 percent less than the count from four years before. Commissioner Chair Val Arkoosh says the goal of the county is to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.

“As much as I would like to tell you we’re going to end homelessness one day, I just don’t think that is realistic giving the vagaries of job losses, death of a bread winner, all sorts of things that happen. Our goal is to have in place a system where when a family does fall on hard times that there’s a system that rapidly re-house them or intervene and divert them from actually becoming homeless.”

Federal officials require counties that receive funds from the department of housing and urban development to conduct a point in time count of the homeless within their jurisdiction each year.