The January 2023 Point-in-Time Count identified 2,374 people who were either staying in an emergency shelter, transitional housing, or who were living on the streets, in cars, or other areas not intended for human habitation. This annual count measures people who are experiencing homelessness on a specific day. The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) also reports that, compared to 2020, the percentage of those who were unsheltered for the first time increased to 41.8% in 2023, and that the percentage of those who were unsheltered that said they first experienced homelessness in Austin also increased in 2023 to 74.5%.
The Point-in-Time Count occurs nation-wide, as directed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Hundreds of local volunteers comb the community to identify people who are experiencing homelessness on that particular day.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 PIT Count was not carried out.
People who are Black or African American are significantly overrepresented in the local homeless population. Although persons who identify as Black made up only 8% of the total Travis County population in 2022, 32.8% of the homeless population identified as Black in the 2023 PIT count.
This map, prepared by the Ending Community Homeless Coalition (ECHO), shows the distribution of the unsheltered homeless population by Austin City Council District during the 2020 Point in Time count. Although people experiencing homelessness without shelter are largely concentrated downtown, in 2020 this population was less centrally concentrated than in 2019.
The number of students experiencing homelessness in Austin ISD have fluctuated over the past 3 years. Most recently, during the 2021-2022 school year, 813 students within the district were identified as either experiencing homelessness, doubling up with relatives or others, or living in hotels, camp grounds, cars or other non-permanent housing. Both Austin ISD and Dell Valle ISD saw increases in the number of homeless students in the most recent school year reported.
(ECHO) serves as the lead planning entity that coordinates the application process for, and management of the Continuum of Care (CoC) homeless services funding through HUD. ECHO helps homeless agencies implement Coordinated Assessment, a tool that ensures people are referred to the most appropriate services.
The City of Austin has purchased four hotels with the intention to convert them into bridge and permanent housing for folks experiencing homelessness since 2020, adding dozens of new units to the Homelessness Response System.
Austin/Travis county was among the eight communities selected to participate in the first cohort of the HUD Racial Equity Demonstration Project. The project required those involved to take a critical look at the local Homeless Response System and identify gaps, recognize what communities have been left out of the table, and solicit partnership and feedback.
The Salvation Army began implementation of a $2.5M, 5-year grant from the Bezos Day One Fund to provide housing assistance, child-centric services, COVID-19 and emergency shelter operations needs for families experiencing homelessness at their Rathgeber Center and the Austin Shelter for Women and Children.