Social Services

Unhoused population declines in Tarrant & Parker counties

The number of individuals experiencing homelessness throughout Tarrant and Parker counties has decreased by 12% since 2023, according to the 2024 State of the Homeless report presented today by Tarrant County Homeless Coalition Executive Director Lauren King.

Tarrant County Homeless Coalition leads the community solution to homelessness in greater Tarrant and Parker counties by serving as a catalyst for community transformation. The Homeless Coalition partners with more than 40 organizations and provides training, technical assistance and other solutions for organizations, and works with city leaders and Tarrant County’s Continuum of Care (CoC) board, a community-based leadership body responsible for guiding Tarrant and Parker counties toward providing a home for all.

The decline in numbers come from the annual Point In Time Count, a nationwide event conducted locally in January to provide a snapshot of what homelessness looks like on one night for every community in the country.

Almost 400 volunteers were mobilized to conduct the count throughout Tarrant and Parker counties on January 25, when a total of 2,390 people were identified as experiencing homelessness. The count showed that 59% of people experiencing homelessness were staying in a shelter or transitional housing, while 41% were unsheltered.

Recent data collected by the Homeless Coalition also shows that family and veteran homelessness have declined, after a significant increase in recent years — with veteran homelessness decreasing by 14% and family homelessness decreasing by 33%. King attributes this to strong community partnerships, an increase in housing funding for veterans thorough the Department of Veterans Affairs, and an influx of public and private dollars to support affordable housing development and other interventions.  

“This is good news and clearly demonstrates that by investing in housing programs and services with appropriate funding, policy efforts, and community partnerships, the number of people experiencing homelessness will decrease,” King said. “With the right resources, we can tackle the problem head-on, and our community will be stronger for it.”

Findings from the report include:

  • 12% overall decrease in homelessness on the night of the count
  • 11% decrease in unsheltered homelessness
  • 5,814 households experienced homelessness throughout the year
  • 64% of households experienced homelessness for the first time
  • 16,488 persons received homeless services through prevention, shelter, outreach, and housing programs, an increase of 17% from 2022

Earlier this year, the Homeless Coalition received a $2 million grant from the Bezos Foundation that was distributed to seven local organizations to support homeless diversion efforts; community housing navigators and landlord engagement activities; financial assistance that allows individuals with income potential to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing; and employment assistance, childcare, and trauma support services for families.

An additional $20 million in federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) program will help the community provide housing assistance and supportive services to individuals experiencing homelessness, and cover costs related to program planning and data collection. This is an annual award and was a 10% increase from prior years.

King said the city of Fort Worth is doing its part by reducing barriers for those using vouchers for rental assistance and greenlighting a 17-month pilot program that will provide increased resources for mental health assistance in seven areas of the community experiencing the most significant issues with unsheltered homeless individuals.

“Affordable housing is not a luxury. It is a necessity for this community’s long-term growth and success. If we don’t address this problem today, we will see long-lasting impacts on other areas like education and economic development,” King said. “The face of homelessness is a childcare provider or a restaurant worker or one of the many other people we encounter every day that help our community thrive. But unlike many, they lack the resources and safety net to recover when the market prices them out of an apartment, or an unexpected medical expense takes their savings.”

To view the State of the Homeless Report presentation go to:

source: press release publishes every week.
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About the author

Barbara Clark Galupi