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Results of 2017 Austin/Travis County annual count of people experiencing homelessness

Photo: Shutterstock

Between 2:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2017, over 500 volunteers counted the number of children, families, and adults experiencing homelessness sleeping outdoors without shelter. Volunteers counted people in cars, tents, parks, under bridges, and on the streets. That same night, staff at agencies operating shelters and transitional housing programs counted persons staying sheltered. This combined effort is called the Point in Time Count and is a requirement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for communities receiving HUD funds.

Main Results:

Subpopulations

  • Total persons counted experiencing chronic homelessness in 2017 was 553, compared with 736 in 2016 – a 28% reduction.
  • Total adults with a substance use disorder in 2017 was 345, compared with 188 in 2016 – an 84% increase.

Table 2. Comparing Subpopulations for Persons in 2016 and 2017 Point-in-Time Counts

Subpopulation 2016 2017 Change from
Previous Year
Adults with Serious Mental Illness 524 519 -5
Adults with Substance Use Disorder 188 345 +157
Adults with HIV/AIDS 24 16 -8
Persons who have experienced Domestic Violence 575 740 +165
Chronically Homeless 736 553 -203
Unaccompanied Youth
(Youth under 25 without adults 25 or older)
111 98 -13
Parenting Youth 
(Youth Aged 18-24 with Children)
106 youth
(36 Households)
78 youth
(29 Households)
-28 youth
(-7 Households)
Veterans 257 169 -88
Families with Children 636 persons
(192 Households)
587 persons
(181 Households)
-49 persons
(-11 Households)

Note: Categories are not mutually exclusive so a person may fall under more than one category.  

Unsheltered Persons by City Council District

Table 3. Unsheltered Persons by City Council District counted during the Point-in-Time Counts in 2016 & 2017

District 2016 2017 Change from
Previous Year
1 79 54 -25
2 31 53 +22
3 116 101 -15
4 47 79 +32
5 41 40 -1
6 24 8 -16
7 53 49 -4
8 15 45 +30
9 356 397 +41
10 7 6 -1

Figure 1. Unsheltered Persons by City Council District, Counted on January 27, 2017

Unsheltered Persons by County Precinct

Table 4. Unsheltered Persons by County Precinct
 

Precinct 2016 2017 Change from
Previous Year
1 118 138 +20
2 150 121 -29
3 290 363 +73
4 193 204 +11

          

 

 

 

 

Figure 2. Unsheltered Persons by County Precinct, Counted on January 27, 2017

Point-in-Time Count Numbers in Context:

  • The number of persons counted experiencing homelessness during the Point in Time Counts is only one of the numbers our community uses to understand our progress in ending community homelessness.

 

  • Austin’s homelessness population is most visibly concentrated downtown:
    on a given night, 472 persons sleep at the ARCH and the Salvation Army (downtown shelters) while 178 persons sleep in the surrounding streets – for a total of 650 persons waking up downtown homeless.
     
  • The decrease in chronic homelessness is connected to the fact our community is prioritizing to serve the most vulnerable including persons with disabilities who have been living in the streets for a long time. Working together as a system, non-profits are using a shared database (Homeless Management Information System) for referral and tracking client’s outcomes.
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