No News is Bad News. Join the SA Current Press Club.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

San Antonio's Homeless Population Dropped Ever-So-Slightly in 2016

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:09 AM

click to enlarge WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
The number of homeless San Antonians has remained relatively unchanged over the past year, according to new data.

In January, volunteers counted a total of 2,743 homeless people living both on the streets and in shelters on a single evening. In January 2016, that number was only 38 people fewer. At same time, however, the population of Bexar county grew by the tens of thousands.



For Katie Vela, a program manger with San Antonio Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH), stability is a good sign. But she's hopeful for a bigger drop by 2018, after SARAH rolls out new a housing program for the chronically homeless — a population that increased 6 percent in the last year.

"It's a population that usually has dealt with mental health or addiction issues for years," Vela told the Current. Which means they often have a harder time following typical tenant rules — leaving them in a cycle of eviction.

"Our goal is to lower as many barriers as possible for them," Vela said. "We need to meet people where they are."

The data also found a 12 percent decrease in homeless veterans in San Antonio, keeping up with the city's concerted effort to house all vets, and a 11 percent dip in homeless youth, a number that Vela is hesitant to trust.

"We've found that a ton of homeless youth couch surf with friends and family, making it hard to get a solid number," she said. "Data on homelessness is always going to be tricky."

This annual tally, conducted by SARAH, is part of a federal point in-time count required for any community that receives certain U.S. Housing and Urban Development funding. HUD has yet to release the federal totals of 2017.

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation