Who is homeless in San Antonio…and more importantly, how can we prevent it? The Point-in-Time Count helps answer these questions and find sustainable solutions.
When it comes to combating homelessness, the solution is a little more complicated than just, “Let’s find somewhere for you to sleep at night.”
Each individual’s situation is made up of an entirely unique set of factors—which means each city’s homeless population has very specific needs with very specific solutions.
But when it comes to understanding the homeless community in your area, where do you start?
Where is the data?
Measuring the data points on homelessness is tricky business. For one thing, homeless populations are often incredibly transient, which means it can be very difficult to get a consistent understanding of the situation at hand.
However, as The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) explained, “Documenting the number, characteristics, and needs of homeless persons in American communities is essential to figuring out how to address the problem.”
And it’s very difficult to manage what you can’t measure.
Enter, the Point-in-Time Count
So, what is the best way to measure homelessness in your city? One methodology is known as the “Point-in-Time Count.”
Every year, during the last 10 days of January, over 400 “Continuums of Care (CoC)” across the country gather with thousands of volunteers to measure the scale of homelessness in the United States.
Though Point in Time counts are not infallible, the National Council for Ending Homelessness explains that they do “help communities plan services and programs to appropriately address local needs, measure progress in decreasing homelessness, and identify strengths and gaps in a community’s current homelessness assistance system.”
A Snapshot of Homelessness in San Antonio
Thanks to the hard work of the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH), 2019’s Point-in-Time Count revealed some incredibly helpful findings. Here are a few of the highlights:
From 2018 to 2019, San Antonio saw reductions in unsheltered homelessness (12%), chronic homelessness (28%), Veteran homelessness (6%), and overall homelessness (6%).
Unfortunately, family homelessness increased by 18%. This is mostly due to increases in domestic violence and increasingly unaffordable housing costs. According to SARAH, this finding is consistent with ongoing trends and reports from homeless service providers. (Read more about how you can help homeless families in San Antonio here.)
How does Endeavors® help?
By providing valuable tools and resources like case management, professional counseling, life skills training, and employment opportunities, the Fairweather Family Lodge and the Fairweather Lodge hope to provide a safe, healthy, stable, and caring environment where individuals and families experiencing homelessness can get back on their feet.
Endeavors® also provides Veteran and Military Family Services that focus on homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services to Veterans at risk of becoming homeless. Through case management services, veterans develop a housing stability plan, are provided assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, and are provided referrals to community agencies. Part of our services include providing veterans with temporary financial assistance, which is based on financial need and includes rental deposits, arrears, and utility payments.
How can you help?
Over the last 15 years, the Fairweather Family Lodge program has served over 250 families, or close to 800 individuals. Endeavors® is aiming to expand this program in order to provide these critical services to more homeless families in San Antonio.
If you’d like to donate to this incredible cause, you can find ways to help by clicking here!
If you would like to help provide resources to Veterans who are having trouble transitioning back to civilian life, you can make a donation to our Veteran Supportive Services program.
Endeavors® is passionate about serving vulnerable people in crisis, improving their quality of life in innovative, personal ways. Click here to connect with someone from our team and learn more about the many ways Endeavors® can help!