KILLEEN, Texas (Jan. 27, 2023) – The City of Killeen partnered with the Texas Homeless Network, the Central Texas Homeless Coalition and other organizations on Jan. 26 in an effort to measure homelessness across our city and the region in the Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. The initial count in Killeen is 169, according to this year’s regional PIT lead. That number was above 200 in 2022.
“I want to give high praise for the Killeen Police Department’s Community Engagement Unit and the Homeless Outreach Team specifically,” Bobby Ehrig, Executive Director of Citizens for Progress (and the 2023 PIT lead) said. “I was very impressed with their professionalism, knowledge of the homeless on the streets, and their willingness to help with the PIT in a non-law enforcement capacity.”
The Killeen PIT Count was led by Killeen Police Department officer Evan Crouse and Sgt. Angela Matthews. They were also able to provide sleeping bags to some in need, thanks to donations made by a citizen.
The Point-In-Time count is a census of all homeless persons. Cities nationwide participate in similar counts throughout the year and report the data to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The numbers that follow are the unsheltered in our region on that date. This count will provide a “snapshot” of the number of people experiencing homelessness. It’s important to note that 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.
The results indicate the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in our community on this one day. 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. The numbers represent about 30-35% of the total homeless population, based on national statistics and evaluations of count activities nationwide.
This year, the project had double the number of volunteers-- 97 from around the four-county region who assisted. They included 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.
Here are this year’s initial results per organizers:
TOTAL Counted: 332
- Killeen: 169
- Temple: 121
- Belton: 04
- Hamilton County: 19
- Lampasas County: 14
- 47% male
- 53% female
- 64% ages 25-64 (largest age range)
The PIT Count will improve understanding of the needs and circumstances of the people experiencing homelessness in our community. The short survey provides key data on gender, age, ethnicity, veteran status and more. Results from the PIT Count will be publicly available and results will be used to improve response to homelessness.
“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,” Ehrig said. “Our goal is to ensure our unsheltered count receives the best possible ability to cover those unsheltered as part of that overall reporting.”
If you’d like more information, please visit https://www.thn.org/texas-balance-state-continuum-care/data/pit-count-and-hic/.