Annual Homeless Count Underway In Bexar County | Texas Public Radio

Annual Homeless Count Underway In Bexar County

Jan 25, 2019

How many people are currently homeless in Bexar County? How many of them are families, youth, or veterans? All of these questions are assessed through the annual point-in-time count.

The South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless, or SARAH, coordinates the annual count and then provides local planners with the information with hopes of better addressing local homeless populations.

According to last year’s results, 3,066 homeless people were counted on a single night in San Antonio and Bexar County and of those, 522 were children.

Local volunteers from Endeavors Veteran Support Services, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the American GI Forum collected the data Thursday across San Antonio and Bexar County. Patricia Palomo, Outreach and Intake Specialist with Endeavors, said the data is collected and recorded through an app created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “So when we come across a homeless individual,” Palomo said, “we ask them the questions on the survey, we collect that data, and that's what goes submitted to the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless."

The count is also a requirement by HUD for communities receiving federal funds from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program, which helps fund services for the homeless.

During these counts, communities are required to identify whether a person is an individual, a member of a family unit, or an unaccompanied youth under the age of 18 or an adult ages 18 to 24. It also must be identified if an individual has been homeless on repeated occasions — a minimum of four times — or has been homeless for a year or more, and if they suffer from a disability.

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Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren