Dear Texas Homeless Network friends, partners, members, and allies,
As we all know, Joe Biden has won the election and will become the 46th U.S. President alongside Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris. With this election behind us, we are moving forward with a continued call to action for the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness across Texas and the 866,765 (or 23%) of renter households that are extremely low-income. We cannot afford to wait until the inauguration of Joe Biden for another stimulus package. During this transition period, we need to redouble our efforts to educate policymakers on the importance of passing the HEROES Act, providing rent relief, and preventing people from falling into homelessness.
As of January 2020, we know that on any given night there are at least 27,229 people experiencing homelessness in Texas. Additionally, in Texas alone, the estimated range of renter households who will be unable to pay rent and at risk of eviction is 1,120,000 – 1,460,000 without proper intervention from local, state, and federal governments. If this isn’t terrifying enough, we are quickly approaching the coldest part of the year (December through February) for unsheltered people experiencing homelessness, and the CDC national moratorium on eviction expires December 31, 2020. There is no better time than now to act and make a difference for all affected.
Over the past four years, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Texas increased by 16%, the unhoused have continued to be criminalized, and significant budget cuts have been suggested that would eliminate projects that have helped significantly reduce homelessness, especially Veteran homelessness. THN urges the new administration to center their platform and subsequent relief packages to end homelessness across the country and show solidarity with all people experiencing homelessness regardless of their race, gender identity, and ability. Fortunately for the upcoming Biden administration, the way forward is clear; trust in the science and success will follow: housing ends homelessness.
The election results are now clear, but this is not the time to allow our passion to wane. We will continue to ride the wave of this momentum and use it to build collaborations with other passionate individuals across political lines who are committed to supporting those experiencing homelessness. Through these collaborations, we will expand our efforts toward equitable goals that contribute to this country’s healing, making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.
We look forward to continuing to fight alongside you.
Texas Homeless Network