Thursday, May 2, 2019

Even as Homeless Populations Decline in San Antonio, There's Been an Increase in Families Without Shelter

Posted By on Thu, May 2, 2019 at 3:01 PM

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A count of the city's homeless population shows a decline in the number of individuals sleeping on Bexar County streets but also warns that the number of homeless families is on the rise.

The South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless, or SARAH, released a report Thursday documenting the tally of homeless people it undertakes every January, and the news is mostly good. There was a 6% reduction in overall homelessness from a year ago and a 28% reduction in chronic homelessness, according to its data.

However, the number of homeless families went up 18% over the prior year. The report attributes the increase to rising rents and a need for more funding for programs that prevent families from being displaced.

"We're hearing a consistent message from our providers," said Brenda Mascorro, SARAH's executive director. "They're hearing from families that they can't afford the rent, that it continues to creep up."

Despite more families being without shelter, the report shows other positive developments, including a 6% drop in the number of homeless veterans and improvements in health and housing data related to the local homeless population.

SARAH's report cites better coordination between the City of San Antonio’s Department of Human Services and aid organizations such as Haven for Hope for the downward trend.

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