1. Homelessness is down in Houston – by a lot.
The 2016 Point-In-Time Homeless Count & Survey found 3,626 sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals in Houston, Harris County and Fort Bend County. This is a 58% reduction since 2011, when there were 8,471 homeless individuals.
2. There were nearly 5,700 individuals in permanent housing on the night of the 2016 Homeless Count.
On the night of the 2016 Count, January 25, there were 5,690 individuals in permanent housing, the largest number in permanent housing since The Way Home began. Since 2011, the number of individuals in permanent housing on the night of the Count has continually gone up and supports the continued decrease in homelessness since 2011.
3. The 2016 Homeless Count was a much bigger and more sophisticated effort.
From 2011-2015, the unsheltered count was done on a single night, and was done observationally, with volunteers assuming that individuals were homeless, and counting from cars with no interaction. In 2016, we divided our geography into three areas and sent specialized teams out over three days to do face-to-face interviews with individuals on the street. This allowed us to rely less on assumptions of homelessness and get detailed data that will allow us to improve our homeless response system.
4. The Way Home is responsible for conducting the Homeless Count – and solving homelessness! – over a huge area.
We know that everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the jurisdiction of The Way Home, which covered all of Houston, Harris County, and Fort Bend County for the 2016 Count. As an example, the following 15 cities fix within the City of Houston and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ): Philadelphia, Chicago, Phoenix, Miami, St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Denver, Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, Baltimore, and San Francisco! Earlier this year, The Way Home also added the city of Conroe and Montgomery County to its jurisdiction bringing the area it serves to over 3,100 square miles!
5. The Way Home’s strategies are working.
In addition to the Homeless Count numbers at an all-time low, The Way Home has housed more than 7,000 homeless individuals since 2012. What makes this extra special is that the success rate of The Way Home’s permanent housing programs is 90% – that means that only 10% of the individuals housed by The Way Home are re-entering homelessness. With more than 100 local partners collaborating and constantly working on improvement, The Way Home is providing a long-term, permanent solution to homelessness and has drawn national attention for its proven track record.
Click here to see the full presentation from the June Lunch & Learn. You can always check the Coalition’s Registration page for upcoming Lunch & Learn (and other training) RSVP opportunities. The Coalition for the Homeless serves as lead agency and HMIS lead agency for The Way Home.