2017 Homeless Count Shows Continued Decrease in Homelessness

May 24, 2017

2017_pit_2The Coalition for the Homeless, as lead agency to The Way Home, conducted the annual Point-In-Time Homeless Count & Survey on January 23 of this year on behalf of The Way Home. This year’s results show a continued six-year trend in reducing homelessness, marking a 60% cumulative reduction since 2011. Data from the survey is used by The Way Home to gauge the progress and effectiveness of the local homeless response system.

In previous years, the Homeless Count & Survey encompassed Houston, Pasadena, Harris County, and Fort Bend County. In July 2016, Conroe and Montgomery County joined The Way Home, and the 2017 Count & Survey was conducted in that region for the first time this January.

“The Way Home partners have been focused on permanent housing with supportive services as the key to solving homelessness, and the 2017 Count results show that this strategy is working,” said Marilyn Brown, President/CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless. “Since the system transformation work of The Way Home began in 2012, we have seen the number of unsheltered, chronically homeless individuals continue to shrink. This shows that our focus on ending chronic homelessness is working. With the support of strong local partners, The Way Home is committed to ending chronic homelessness and continuing down the path to creating a system where no one has to be without permanent housing for more than 30 days.”

Homeless Count teams preparing to head out for the day.

Homeless Count teams preparing to head out for the day.

On the night of January 23, 2017 there were 3,412* total sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in Houston, Harris County, and Fort Bend County; compared to 8,538 identified in 2011. Additional highlights from the Count results in Houston, Harris County, and Fort Bend County include:

  • The number of unsheltered, chronically homeless individuals has decreased by 20% since 2016 – from 354 individuals to 282 individuals; and by 82% since 2011, when the number of unsheltered, chronically homeless individuals was 1,591.
  • 75% reduction in unsheltered homelessness since 2011.
  • 78% of unsheltered homeless individuals surveyed during the Count became homeless within the Houston city limits.
  • 39% of unsheltered homeless individuals surveyed had a high school diploma or GED; 21% had some college or a college degree or higher.
  • 25% of unsheltered homeless individuals reported having no income, while 20% reported panhandling for income.

*Montgomery County results are not included in the historical comparisons listed above because 2017 is the first year that The Way Home’s Count methodology was executed in that area.

Montgomery County Results
In July 2016, Conroe and Montgomery County joined The Way Home and as such was included in the 2017 Homeless Count & Survey. On the night of January 23, 2017 there were 149 sheltered homeless individuals and 44 unsheltered homeless individuals in Conroe and Montgomery County. This data will serve as baseline data for future comparisons and to gauge progress toward solving homelessness in that region in years going forward.

Click here to read the full press release from the Coalition for the Homeless.
Click here to be linked to the Coalition’s Local Data and Research webpage where you can view the full executive summary from this year’s Count & Survey, as well as a one-page fact sheet.

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