The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is an annual HUD-mandated census of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. The PIT Count allows us a valuable opportunity to engage our communities in combating homelessness in addition to gathering a comprehensive data set of people experiencing homelessness within our state and across the country. The 2023 PIT count occurred on Thursday, January 26th, 2023 across the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (TX BoS CoC).
Before we get into the results of the 2023 PIT count, we want to give a huge thank you to the 600+ volunteers who collected data all across the state for the count. This effort would not have been possible without the effort of everyone involved and we are forever grateful to those in our communities who are on the ground in the fight to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.
The TX BoS CoC encompasses 215 counties within our state. This is a very large area to cover within the vast geography of Texas. Because of this, we are not able to gather data from every single county in our CoC. However, HUD requires that we report on the entirety of our geography for the PIT count. To achieve this, we estimate the number of people experiencing homelessness in areas that do not participate in the PIT count using the data of participating counties. Essentially pairing up participating counties with non participating counties based on the similarities of their population size, and use the data of the participating counties to estimate the number of people experiencing homelessness in areas that did not conduct count.
In comparison to last year’s PIT count, we had significantly fewer variables that impacted the 2023 PIT count. In 2022, counties were offered two separate PIT count dates in order to address concerns with COVID-19 surges. This year the PIT count occurred on a single day. We also had significantly higher volunteer recruitment across our geography. Due to the reduced social distancing protocols and the fact that COVID-19 was a smaller factor in this year’s count, we also noticed significantly more participation both on the part of volunteers and our unhoused neighbors. We would also like to note that this year we had much more comprehensive training, advanced planning, and hotspot mapping across our geography thanks to our phenomenal PIT leads. With these factors in mind, let’s get into the results for the 2023 Point-In-Time count.
In the 2023 PIT Count, we counted 9,065 people experiencing homelessness within the geography of the Texas Balance of State CoC. 43% were sheltered, meaning they were living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing, and 57% were unsheltered. We counted 3,067 people in Emergency Shelters, 820 people in Transitional Housing, and 5,178 people unsheltered or living in a place not meant for human habitation.
In terms of demographic data, we found that 37% of respondents reported that they were Hispanic or Latinx, which is consistent with the percentage of Hispanic and Latinx people within our CoC according to the most recent US census data. Regarding the gender of respondents within our geography, we found that 61% of people experiencing homelessness identified as Male, whereas 38% identified as female. The remaining 1% was composed of: 56 people identifying as a gender other than singularly Female or Male, 17 people identifying as transgender, and 16 people that were questioning their gender.
Of those who were asked the subpopulation-specific questions, we counted 584 veterans experiencing homelessness, 1,176 survivors of domestic violence, and 1,793 people who have been told or believe they have a mental health disorder.. We also observed 1,680 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness on the night of the count. HUD defines chronic homelessness as having one or more qualifying conditions that hinder one’s ability to obtain and maintain housing, as well as being homeless for 12 months.
In analyzing the data we noticed:
In analyzing the data, we also noticed an increase in the number of people within our CoC that were unsheltered on the night of the count from 3,555 in 2022 to 5,178 in 2023 as well as a 29% increase in the total number of people experiencing homelessness across our geography. While this increase may seem significant, we believe this can be attributed to the fact that there was an increase in participation on the part of both volunteers and participants, as well as increased hot spot mapping. We consider the 2023 Texas Balance of State CoC Point-In-Time Count to be a more accurate census of those experiencing homelessness within our geography in comparison to 2022.
We would like to point out the racial disparity that was observed on the night of the count. Out of all the folks within our geography experiencing homelessness, we noticed that 23% identified as Black or African American. This is greater than the 13% of people identifying as Black or African American within our geography according to the US Census. This racial disparity is consistent with the trends seen across the state and the country, highlighting the inequities and structural racism within the homeless response system.
Below this blog post is the official 2023 Texas Balance of State CoC Infographic. Please feel free to download this infographic, share it with your teams, and implement it within your presentations as a visual aid. If you have any questions regarding the infographic or the 2023 Point in Time Count results, please reach out to email@example.com.