How Many Homeless People Are in Travis County, Texas? A Comprehensive Look

More than 700 volunteers recently took part in the annual count of homeless people in Austin and Travis County, Texas, conducted by the Coalition to End Homelessness Community (ECHO). The survey revealed that 2,374 people are homeless in Travis County, with an additional 818 people living in a shelter. The majority of homeless people came from the Austin area, and three out of four people said they became homeless for the first time in Austin. The city and county of Travis County have invested pandemic-era federal relief funds to address the issue of homelessness.

Young people can become homeless when they leave the foster care system or are disowned by their families. The Trevor Project estimates that 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQIA+. Matthew Mollica, executive director of ECHO, said that this weekend's tally is not a complete and accurate count of how many people are actually homeless. However, departments that collect comprehensive data on the people they serve have observed an overrepresentation of cases involving homelessness or involving a homeless person.

Travis County Commissioner Ann Howard, who previously served as the executive director of ECHO and plans to help with the recount on Saturday, applauded the county's measures to address homelessness. The city has created two programs: the Homelessness Outreach Street Team (HOST) and the Downtown Austin Community Court (DACC). These programs work together to comprehensively address the needs of the homeless and provide outreach services to those who are not formally involved in services. ECHO counts the number of people who undergo a coordinated evaluation (CA), say that they live without shelter in California and that they have interacted with the Homeless Response System in the past 180 days.

This count shows that 5,400 people are currently living outdoors or in a shelter, of which 4,561 are homeless. Across the country, the number of homeless people has fallen by 14.4% over the past ten years. The impact of COVID-19 on the economy could cause an even greater increase in the number of individuals and families becoming homeless. To prevent this from happening, it is essential for local governments to invest in programs that provide outreach services to those who are not formally involved in services and to create more affordable housing options for those who are at risk of becoming homeless.

It is also important for communities to come together to support those who are already experiencing homelessness.

Bradford Fazzi
Bradford Fazzi

Professional tv fanatic. Award-winning bacon junkie. Evil music expert. Lifelong food ninja. Amateur social media geek.

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