AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — According to security.org, Amarillo has been cited as the city with the “fourth largest decline in homeless population in the United States” from 2019 to 2020.
On Tuesday, April 27, Jason Riddlespurger, the City of Amarillo’s Director of Community Development, discussed the 2021 Homeless Point in Time Count during Amarillo’s City Council meeting.
The Homeless Point in Time Count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single 24-hour period in January.
According to the 2021 Homeless Point in Time Count, there are 495 people experiencing homelessness in Amarillo. Riddlespurger continued to say, “I want to point out that during a pandemic that we actually had a decrease of 105. We have seen a decrease of 279 since January of 2019.”
Additionally, Riddlespurger shared that over the past two years, Amarillo’s homeless population has seen a 36% decline.
“Of the 495, 191 of those were sheltered in places like the Salvation Army, Faith City Mission, Downtown Women’s Center, Another Chance House, Martha’s Home, and Family Support Services Safe House,” said Riddlespurger. He continued to explain that the remaining 304 individuals were unsheltered in places “not meant for habitation like alleyways, tents, and vehicles.”
However, Riddlespurger said there is still work to be done.
“The national average reflects that there are actually 175.8 individuals experiencing homelessness per 100,000 population. In Texas that average is 93.4 per 100,000. Then unfortunately Amarillo is averages at this heart disheartening 248.3 per 100,000,” said Riddlespurger.
As for now, Amarillo is continuing to make great progress towards lowering these numbers.
Riddlespurger continued, “So here’s our great news in the past year: the number of chronically homeless has decreased from 163 to 35. We are now much improved. Seven percent of our homeless population being classified as chronically homeless.”
Amarillo’s second Homeless Point in Time Count for 2021 will take place in July.
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