Did you know that there are more than 550,000 people living without a home in the United States? Of this, 115,000 are believed to be minor students (from kindergarten to 12th grade). In Texas alone, on any given night, there are astounding 25,310 people without a place to live.
These aren’t just numbers or another statistic, these are people. 33% of whom are in families with children. These are mothers, fathers, children, sisters, and brothers sleeping on park benches, under overpasses, living out of hotels, or doubled up with family or friends temporarily.
The Rise of Homelessness in Texas
I’m sure you’ve noticed homelessness is on the rise in most cities in Texas - especially in Dallas. The biggest reason is the booming housing market. When the cost of housing goes up and income doesn’t increase, more of our community become at-risk of homelessness. Let’s be real - the majority of people don’t make three times their rent and can’t afford escalated deposit costs.
Another problem is the lack of space. Even with the increase in the homeless population, the number of beds in shelters and low-cost housing has stayed the same. It’s a simple numbers game. More people without + the same number of beds = rise in the number of people without shelter.
Bigger cities like Dallas don’t only need more beds. They need expanded social services - behavioral and health support and short term financial help.
Houston - where the homeless population has dropped by more than 50% since 2001 - is using a database called the Homeless Management Information System. It lets all the organizations that provide services for the homeless to communicate for individual cases. They’re coming up with personalized plans for people to get into affordable housing, find jobs or get mental health services. No more one-size-fits-all and hope for the best.
While the government works on relocating funds for better shelters, housing assistance, rental subsidies, and plans for low-income housing, RBC founders are taking action to feed those in need.