African-Americans make up a significant portion of the homeless population in Travis County, Texas, despite comprising only a small fraction of the total population in Austin-Travis County. Young people can become homeless for a variety of reasons, such as leaving the foster care system or being disowned by their families (the Trevor Project estimates that 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQIA+). To gain a better understanding of the local homelessness situation, a group of researchers from Austin conducted a study that is in line with national studies on the subject. The researchers also noted the population growth of Austin and Travis Counties and its correlation to homelessness. Data shows an increase in the number of homeless people in Travis County, but there has also been an improvement in the outflow of homeless people.
If enough people from different sectors—government, businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, schools, churches, and caring individuals—work together to end homelessness in Austin, it is possible. According to Point-in-Time (PIT) results, the number of homeless people in Austin-Travis County increased by 11%. However, the economic impact of COVID-19 could cause an even greater rise in the number of individuals and families becoming homeless. The data also revealed that most of the surveyed people were residents of Austin or Travis County when they first became homeless. Each person's journey to and from homelessness is unique and involves individual and systemic factors.
This means that as the total population in Central Texas has grown, so has the number of homeless people. In light of these results, community leaders are continuing to work towards finding a solution that will reduce and eventually end homelessness. By addressing the issue of homelessness in the community, ECHO has demonstrated that the homeless response system is effective as its capacity to house people has increased. To further reduce homelessness in Travis County, it is essential for all stakeholders to come together and collaborate on solutions that will provide long-term housing stability for those who are currently experiencing homelessness.