How many homeless are in Houston?

HOUSTON -- Results are in from the Coalition for the Homeless annual point-in-time homeless count and survey, and the city of Houston as well as Harris and Fort Bend counties have seen a 60 percent reduction in homelessness since 2011.

More than 11,200 individuals-including veterans and chronically homeless people-in these regions have been permanently housed since 2012, the coalition found.

The count and survey, which occurred on Jan. 23, gauges the success of local homeless support systems and is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for organizations like The Way Home Continuum of Care to receive federal funding.

"The Way Home partners have been focused on permanent housing with supportive services as the key to solving homelessness, and the 2017 count results show that this strategy is working," said Marilyn Brown, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless, in a statement. "With the support of strong local partners, The Way Home is committed to ending chronic homelessness and continuing down the path to creating a system where no one has to be without permanent housing for more than 30 days."

During the count and survey in 2011, groups identified 8,538 total sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals in Houston, Harris County and Fort Bend County. This year, that number shrank to 3,412.

Since last year, the number of unsheltered, chronically homeless people decreased by 20 percent. That number has dropped by 82 percent since 2011, according to reports.

"Since the system transformation work of The Way Home began in 2012, we have seen the number of unsheltered, chronically homeless individuals continue to shrink," Brown said. "This shows that our focus on ending chronic homelessness is working."

Other highlights from this year's study include:
  • Unsheltered homelessness has decreased by 75 percent since 2011.

  • 78 percent of unsheltered homeless individuals surveyed became homeless within the Houston city limits.

  • 39 percent of homeless individuals surveyed graduated high school or earned a GED, and 21 percent had at least some college experience or a college degree.

  • 25 percent of unsheltered homeless individuals reported having no income, and 20 percent said panhandling was their source of income.

This story comes from our partners at Impact Community Newspaper.

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