The rate of homelessness in Texas dropped by 35% from 2007 to 2018, however, from 2018 to 2019 it increased by 2.1%. 2019 estimations showed that there were 25,548 homeless people in Texas. According to the most recent statistics shared by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness in January 2020, Texas had an estimated 27,229 people experiencing homelessness on any given day. This includes approx.:
When we look at the 2019 demographics of homelessness in Texas, we see that 37.2% of the homeless people were comprised of African Americans and 58% of them are comprised of whites. The rest included Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, and other races.
Among the documented homeless, 48.5% were unsheltered and 51.5% were sheltered. Unsheltered homelessness is defined as homeless person whose primary place to sleep at night is in a public area that should not be considered an ideal location for sleep such as parks, cars, or streets.
There is a variety of reasons why a person becomes homeless. These reasons include:
Due to the measures that took place in the US to stop the spread of the virus, some resources that the homeless usually depend on were taken away. For example, homeless shelters either had to put a limit on their capacity or close completely. Due to restrictions put on in-person meetings, social workers had to stop some of their services to the homeless. Research showed that rates of severe illness and death and exposure to the virus were increased among the homeless compared to residents. These are due to lack of hygiene among the homeless, increased age, and medical problems among them.
There are various homeless shelters located in various places in Texas. Emergency shelters are also located in the downtown cores of larger cities and function on a first-come-first-served basis. In emergency shelters people can get access to a bed, hygiene services such as laundry and shower, clothing, food, and medical support. And shelters offer access to professionals who can help the homeless with receiving funding either from the municipality or the state. A list of the shelters in Texas can be found here.
There are various programs designed to help the homeless to find and keep houses. These are also useful for people who are at risk of losing their homes.
This program is designed to help people who are at higher risk of being homeless and are 18 years or older. The program helps them to find safe, affordable housing along with teaching people skills to keep their houses and live independently.
This program provides temporary financial support for rent subsidies, utility payments, and move-in costs for the homeless or those who are at risk of becoming homeless.
This program is for people who have very low income or disabilities and is linked to long-term services. However, it does not require to participation in any kind of service.
This program is for people with a mental illness and their families who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
This program is designed for helping people out of unstable situations and putting them back into safe housing. It provides them with all the available community resources.
The Project Access Pilot Program
This is for people who are leaving a psychiatric hospital. It provides them with financial support for rent.