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Austin Homeless Population Climbs 5% From 2017

In the early morning hours of January 27, approximately 550 volunteers dispersed across Austin / Travis County to engage with people who were experiencing unsheltered homelessness – that is they were sleeping outside in places not meant for people to be sleeping or living. At the same time, people who were sleeping in shelters and Transitional Housing programs were counted using Austin / Travis County’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).  Together, both the unsheltered and the sheltered totaled, 2,147, which reflects a 5% increase from last January.

Not surprising, volunteers found people in every City Council district and every County Precinct. 

"The increase in homelessness confirms what I saw when I participated in the point in time count: Homelessness is up in Austin. What hasn't changed is our commitment to ending homelessness in Austin," said Mayor Adler. "This 5% increase underscores the need for Austin to create dedicated revenue sources for housing and support services to get those experiencing homelessness into homes and to help them succeed."

Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo emphasized the need for decisive action. “Again this year, the majority of the unsheltered population is found in or near Downtown.  None of our neighbors should have to sleep on the streets or in the alleys of our city. That’s why I asked the Mayor, Council Member Kitchen and Renteria to join me in sponsoring a resolution to endorse the Austin Action Plan  to  End Homelessness.  The plan is a rallying point for government, business, and philanthropy to join forces to end homelessness in this community.”

In response to the increase, Ann Howard, executive director of the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, ECHO stated, “We applaud the Austin City Council for Thursdays consideration to endorse the Austin Action Plan to End Homelessness.We must act soon and act bold.”

Other Texas cities also saw increases in their January counts:

  • Dallas and Collin County increased by 9%
  • Fort Worth area increased by 5%.  
  • San Antonio has an increase and releases numbers on Monday
  • Houston will release results in May
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