Houston Homeless Population Cut by Nearly 40 Percent Since 2011

May 29, 2014  |  at 10:40 am  |  by sbrown

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Coalition for the Homeless Credits Permanent Supportive Housing

HOUSTON, Texas (May 29, 2014) — Houston’s homeless population declined by 37 percent, or 3,187 fewer homeless people, since 2011, according to the Point-In-Time Homeless Count conducted on Jan. 30, 2014 by the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston and Harris County. Marilyn L. Brown, President & CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston and Harris County, announced the results of the Count earlier today along with Tory Gunsolley, President & CEO of the Houston Housing Authority and Chair of the Steering Committee for the Houston Continuum of Care. Brown credited the 2012 formalization of the Houston/Harris/Fort Bend County Continuum of Care (CoC) for the outstanding results to date.

“Access to permanent housing gives people the chance to leave homelessness behind. Our Continuum of Care partners’ collaboration to create integrated, community-wide strategies to prevent and end homelessness is the key to our success. But, we still have much heavy lifting in front of us,” said Brown.

This year, on a given night, there were 5,351 total sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in the Houston area compared with 8,538 on a given night identified in the 2011 Count and 6,359 identified in 2013. Of those surveyed in the Count, 2,291 homeless people (43 percent) lived on the streets or in other uninhabitable places compared with 4,418 (52 percent) in 2011.

“Houston is on its way to becoming a national model to end homelessness,” Brown said. “Because there are multiple causes of homelessness, there need to be multiple solutions to end homelessness. The key to success for chronically homeless citizens, who are our most vulnerable population, is providing permanent housing linked with critical services. Permanent Supportive Housing saves lives. I am amazed at the progress made through the collaboration of the many service providers and partners. And, we’re just getting started!”

The federal government requires the annual count as it relates to the funding received at the local level through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Point-in-Time Homeless Count was supported by the University of Texas School of Public Health and the City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services. Trained teams of volunteers canvassed Houston, Harris and Fort Bend Counties counting both sheltered and unsheltered people.

Click here for a one-page fact sheet. Click here to read the 2014 Executive Summary.

For media inquiries, contact Jennifer Evans (832-692-7615), or Erica Holloway (619-796-1651).