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Homeless survey and population count in the Big Country

( Chelsie Burroughs/ KTXS News){p}{/p}
( Chelsie Burroughs/ KTXS News)

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Homelessness in this country is an increasing issue. Locally in the Big Country, there are hundreds of people who are on the streets. Recently, West Texas Homeless Network teamed up with the Texas Homeless Network to do the The 2023 Housing and Urban Development-mandated Point-In-Time Count for Continuums of Care.

Volunteers will count and survey individuals who are staying in shelters and other places not meant for living. This will help give us a better understanding of the needs of those who are less fortunate in the Big Country community.

“We all have a part in this. These are our neighbors and we just want to ensure that we are looking for solutions to bring an end to homelessness,” said the West Texas Coalition coordinator Courtney Horton

West Texas Homeless Network or WTHN, Texas Homeless Network, and volunteers from the Community are all teaming up to get a better understanding of our homeless population here in the Abilene. The PIT– or the Point-In-Time count and survey will provide us with important data on gender, age, ethnicity, veteran status, and more.

“We use this data to compare against our own, entering and exiting process within our community, and utilize this for purposes of advocacy or more housing, more development, and more ways to exit people off the street and into permanent solutions,” said Horton.

The volunteers will count and take down data on individuals and families who are staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing, outdoor campsites, streets, cars, and other places that are not meant for housing. For many, this will influence our community into becoming more aware of this sensitive issue.

“It impacts us in a lot of ways. It brings out the true facts of what is going on in our community,” said the coordinator. “It actually brings awareness to those who are actually experiencing homelessness in our community and how we can all get involved,” said the West Texas Coalition Organizer.

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