Austin homeless population almost three times larger than estimates: data

New data shows a much larger homeless population in Austin than previously estimated.

According to Austin ECHO, a January 2023 point-in-time count indicated a homeless population of about 2,300 people.

The Austim Homeless Strategy office presented new data from ECHO in which the non-profit estimated in October there were about 6,600 homeless people in the city.


Only 1,100 were sheltered, meaning more than 5,000 people were living on the streets or camping in parks.

Homeless strategy officer David Gray says the problem requires a two-part solution.

"The fact of the matter is, we don't have the luxury of choosing if we want to go all in on more shelter or all in on more housing. We need both. And I'm really proud of the fact that we're making strides and closing gaps in our system," Gray said.

We're told almost half of the people served at Austin's shelters are defined as chronically homeless.

While about 60 percent of people who leave shelters are improving their situation, the strategy office is working to find solutions for the remainder who end up back on the streets.