HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — One in seven homeless people in the Houston-area counties said they're in the position they're in due to COVID-19, according to the 2021 Coalition for the Homeless’ 2021 Point-in-Time Homeless Count & Survey.
The count was conducted on the night of Jan. 19. They found 3,055 people living without homes in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. About half of them were living in shelters (1,545) and the other half (1,510) were living without shelter.
The count also shed some light on the impact COVID-19 has made on the community. On the night of the count, one in seven of the people who were living without shelter said they were in that position due to the coronavirus. Many of them said they either lost their job or had their hours cut and/or were evicted due to the pandemic.
According to the coalition, data suggests that the unsheltered number may have been higher if it wasn't for an innovative housing program.
“While we don’t yet know the full scope of how many people have fallen — or will fall — into homelessness due to the pandemic, we believe that without the Community COVID Housing Program, the number of people experiencing homelessness in our region on the night of our count would very likely have been higher,” said Michael Nichols, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless.
The Community COVID Housing Program is a $65 million housing-focused pandemic response that will end up serving about 5,000 people experiencing homelessness by the fall of 2022.