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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Homeless census taking place Jan. 25 in Tarrant County

Homeless census

Point In Time Count

Jan. 25

For more information or to volunteer:

817-509-3635.

http://ahomewithhope.org/2018-homeless-count/

The Tarrant County Homeless Coalition (TCHC) needs volunteers to help with their annual Point In Time Count, an annual census of the homeless in Tarrant and Parker Counties. This is part of a nationwide count during the final 10 days of January.

“Annual counts help us understand the changing trends, extent, and nature of homelessness in our community. The data is also used to measure the progress we are making in ending homelessness,” said Lauren King, director of development for TCHC. “It is easiest to locate people who are homeless when it is cold, late at night, and at the end of the month.”

King said the last year the homeless count found 1,924 individuals (1,594 in Fort Worth, 252 in Arlington, 12 in Parker County, 66 in Northeast Tarrant). Of these, 62 percent were men and 38 percent were women.

The count also included:

*186 veterans.

*395 children under 18.

*580 people in families.

*1,534 sleeping in shelters.

*390 sleeping outside.

The major reasons for homelessness in the past year included:

*Unemployment.

*Inability to pay rent/mortgage.

*Physical/mental disability.

*Divorce/separation.

King said the homeless population has essentially stayed stagnant over the past five years, hovering right around 2,000.

“To have a successful count, we need about 500 volunteers to help canvass the counties,” King said. “The count makes a great volunteer activity for congregations, community groups, and neighborhood associations. Even if people cannot form a team, they can still volunteer and we will pair them with another team.”

Persons who will be counted are individuals and members of families that are considered homeless on the day of the count, based on the definition of homelessness provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A person is considered homeless when they reside in places not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, and abandoned buildings. A person is also considered homeless if they reside in an emergency shelter, a domestic violence shelter, a shelter for runaway or homeless youth, or a transitional housing program, having arrived from off the streets or from an emergency shelter.

“Our count does not include individuals/families who are doubled up or staying in motels,” King said.

Volunteers will gather at 7 p.m. and deploy from locations in Fort Worth, Arlington, Northeast Tarrant and Weatherford. The count should conclude around 1 a.m. Having the count at night assures the most accurate count without duplicating. Also, the emergency shelters have closed intake and unsheltered homeless people will begin retiring to their campsites or other outdoor locations.

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