Last year's count of the homeless in Houston totaled a bit more than 6,400 individuals.That was almost evenly split between people living on the streets, and those staying in shelters. Marilyn Brown is president and CEO of Coalition for the Homeless. She says over the last two years, there has been a 27% drop the homeless. And that matches the rise in the number of people placed in permanent, supportive housing.
"So with the concentration of effort that has taken place in 2013 of moving, particularly veterans, off the street and into housing, we are anxious to see if the count will reflect a continued reduction in the number of people on the streets."
The count will take place between 5:30 and 11:30 tonight. Shelters will submit their counts electronically. On the streets, teams of volunteers will fan out across Houston, Harris County, and Fort Bend County to find as many homeless as they can. Brown concedes not every single person can be counted in just a few hours on one night.
"But we do feel like because we've stayed consistent with the methodology that we can trust the numbers as a comparison year-to-year."
Brown hopes to see the total of homeless in the Houston area drop this year by somewhere between 500 and 1,000 people.