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Austin Homeless Count Getting Underway This Weekend

The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless is one of few shelters for the city's homeless.
Photo by KUT News
The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless is one of few shelters for the city's homeless.

Last year, 2,362 homeless people were counted in the combined Austin–Round Rock area. This Sunday, the 2012 count of Austin’s homeless begins, and count organizers still need volunteers.

The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) needs people to travel parts of Austin and report the number of homeless, and volunteers to help enter the data they collected.

ECHO describes the work in more detail:

Teams of volunteers will canvas Travis County to count homeless men, women and children in the area to get an accurate sum of the homeless population to help secure federal funding, which provides resources for the county’s homeless service providers. The results of the count will include demographics, reasons for homelessness and trends in homelessness to compare with previous data to assess and improve community performance in preventing and ending homelessness.

The results of the ECHO’s “point-in-time” assessment will then be sent along to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which aggregates data nationwide for a comprehensive report.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the 2011 countof homeless in the Austin–Round Rock area (with a combined population of 1.7 million) was large enough to rank the area’s homeless population as 37th largest numerically out of the 100 largest metro areas, and 57th largest as a percentage of the entire population.

People wishing to volunteer in the count can get more details at ECHO's website.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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