Killeen Homeless Population Decreased in Region’s Annual Homeless Count

The City of Killeen partnered with the Texas Homeless Network, the Central Texas Homeless Coalition, and other organizations to measure homelessness in the Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count is a census of all homeless persons that cities nationwide participate in throughout the year and report the data to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

This year’s PIT Count indicated that the initial count in Killeen was 169, which is down from over 200 in 2022. The count was led by Killeen Police Department officer Evan Crouse and Sgt. Angela Matthews, who were also able to provide sleeping bags to some in need, thanks to donations made by a citizen. The Point-In-Time count will improve understanding of the needs and circumstances of the people experiencing homelessness in the community.

The PIT Count provides key data on gender, age, ethnicity, veteran status, and more. The results will be publicly available and will be used to improve the response to homelessness. Other forms of homelessness, such as those staying temporarily with friends or people who are able to come up with enough funds for a hotel/motel, are not included in the PIT Count, per HUD guidelines.

This year’s PIT Count had double the number of volunteers, including those from law enforcement, nonprofit programs, government agencies, college students, and healthcare systems who spent more than 12 hours counting on the streets, encampments, abandoned buildings, wooded areas, parks, and soup kitchens all over the region. The count represents about 30-35% of the total homeless population, based on national statistics and evaluations of count activities nationwide.

The results of the PIT Count will be used to improve the response to homelessness, and results from the PIT Count will be publicly available. The count provides a “snapshot” of the number of people experiencing homelessness on one day, and there are additional numbers that come from federal and state-funding programs that house the homeless in different housing models like transitional housing, emergency housing, and rapid re-housing programs.

“I’ve been doing the PIT counts for 12 years now, and I was really pleased with how Central Texas rallied together and gave us a more realistic number of those homeless in our region,” said Bobby Ehrig, Executive Director of Citizens for Progress (and the 2023 PIT lead). “Our goal is to ensure our unsheltered count receives the best possible ability to cover those unsheltered as part of that overall reporting.”

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Image by City of Killeen