The City of Austin has released the results of their annual count of people experiencing homeless in Travis County.
Between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 28, over 500 volunteers helped count the number of children, families and adults sleeping outdoors without shelter. The volunteers counted people in cars, tents, parks, under bridges and on the streets. The same night, staff at shelters and transitional housing facilities counted the number of people who were sheltered. The combined number is called the Point in Time Count and is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to receive HUD funds.
The volunteers counted a total of 834 people sleeping outdoors either in cars, tents, parks, under bridges or on the streets. 832 people were in shelters and safe havens and 370 people were in transitional housing. The numbers showed an increase in unsheltered people and a decrease in sheltered people.
The release points out that the Point in Time Count is only one representation of homelessness in Austin. City officials said that at least 7,000 people experience homelessness in Austin /Travis County over the course of a year.
The homeless population in Austin is mostly concentrated downtown. On a given night, 472 people sleep at the ARCH and the Salvation Army while 158 people sleep in surrounding streets, according to the release.
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