All across the country, homelessness in America has been a problem for generations. With hundreds of thousands of people living on the street throughout all fifty states, including in Texas, many people are wondering: Is homelessness increasing in Texas?
From 2007 to 2019, homelessness in Texas dropped by 35%; however, from 2018 to 2019, it increased by 2.1%. By the current count, Texas has 27,229 homeless people living within its borders, which is 5.3% more than in 2019. So it is safe to say that the homeless population in Texas is increasing.
In this article, we will discuss the ins and outs of homelessness in Texas so that you fully understand why it is increasing, by how much, and how homelessness in Texas compares to the rest of the country. So keep reading; everything you need to know is right here.
How Many People Are Homeless In Texas?
Before we dig into the increase in Texas homelessness, as well as why these numbers are growing, it’s important to understand exactly how many people in Texas are experiencing homelessness.
The National Alliance for the End of Homelessness has reported that there are currently 27,229 people experiencing homelessness in the state of Texas. That number means that Texas has the fourth highest homeless population of any state in the country.
Because Texas has such a high general population, Texas is only the 19th state in the country for percentage per capita, with 9.4 in every 10,000 people living without a roof over their heads.
Is Homelessness Increasing in Texas?
Over the past forty years, the National Alliance to End Homelessness has been collecting data to find out the actual number of people experiencing homelessness throughout the United States.
These statistics have been invaluable in trying to understand the homelessness problem throughout the country, and specifically in Texas.
From 2007 to 2019, the Alliance noticed that homelessness in Texas dropped by 35%; however, from 2018 to 2019, it increased by 2.1%.
Unfortunately, in the last three years, the homeless population in Texas has increased by a surprising 5.3%, and it doesn’t seem to be subsiding any time soon.
Today’s figures show that there are currently 27,229 people experiencing homelessness in Texas.
These statistics are interesting, but it’s much more important to understand why homelessness in Texas is increasing.
Why Is Homelessness in Texas Increasing?
When it comes to the problem of homelessness throughout the country, it’s usually difficult to pin down exactly why it’s happening. However, most experts agree that there are generally four reasons why homelessness occurs: poverty, unemployment, untreated mental illness, and a lack of housing.
In Texas, several of these problems are extremely prominent such as widespread poverty and lack of affordable housing.
In Texas, 3.984 million people live below the poverty line, which is about 13% of the state’s population. The national average is only 11%, so you can clearly see why so many Texans are struggling.
As well, although Texas is known for having affordable housing compared to the rest of the country, the prices are still growing consistently and becoming less and less available to Texans who struggle financially.
Over the past few years, hundreds of thousands of Americans have migrated from their home states to Texas because of the affordable housing; however, that means that higher-income families are moving into previously impoverished areas, causing problems for the Texans who cannot compete financially for homes in the area.
It’s also important to understand that in the past two years, the entire country experienced a horrible pandemic that seriously changed the economic and social climate of many Americans.
Evictions were extremely prevalent, especially in Texas; in fact, Phoenix and Fort Worth were two of the top five cities in the country with the most eviction filings due to the pandemic.
So while the increase in housing prices and stagnant minimum wage is certainly leading to an increase in homelessness in Texas, there is no doubt that the pandemic played a big part as well.
The Bottom Line
So, is homelessness increasing in Texas? Unfortunately, it is: homelessness in Texas has increased by 5.3% in the past three years.
While this number is quite a jump from the previous decades and can seem overwhelming and disappointing, there are several reasons why Texas is seeing such an increase in homelessness.
From the increase in housing prices and the stagnancy of the minimum wage to the evictions and loss of jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are now 27,229 people experiencing homelessness in Texas.
Hopefully, with the end of the pandemic, and the attention of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Texas residents can experience a decrease in the problem with homelessness in the near future.