2,015 people are homeless in Tarrant County at any point in time.
There are shelter beds for just over 1,600 of them.
What about housing?
Like the rest of the nation, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is experiencing a crisis when it comes to affordable housing. Consider these sobering numbers for our Metroplex:
There simply are nowhere near enough affordable housing rental units for all the people in DFW who need them.
- Extremely low-income renter households earn no more than 30% of area median income.
- Affordability is defined as paying no more than 30% of income for rent and utilities on a household-size adjusted basis.
Who Becomes Homeless?
It might not be who you think.
At any given time, one out of every five people in Tarrant County experiencing homelessness is a child.
It’s time to reject the stereotypes.
When you think of a “homeless person,” what comes to mind? Someone sleeping in an alley or a tent under an overpass? A person holding a sign at an intersection? Someone asking for change at the gas station?
The reality is that homelessness happens to families, parents with children, married people, and even those with jobs and good educations. People who are homeless might be on the streets, but they might also stay in a shelter, sleep in their car, or “couch surf” with friends.
The Tarrant County Homeless Coalition’s 2017 Needs and Gaps Report gives detailed information about what homelessness really looks like here in our area.
Living on the edge in the land of plenty
Who is at risk for homelessness?
A surprising number of people.
Homelessness is a symptom, not a cause
Rare is the person who simply decides to live on the streets. Instead, most people experiencing homelessness are simultaneously dealing with one or more issues which have contributed to their inability to secure permanent affordable housing.
Homelessness is a complex problem with many contributing factors.
In Texas, these include one of the nation’s highest rates of people who are uninsured, one of the nation’s lowest investments in mental health treatment, one of the lowest minimum wages in the U.S., and one of the highest rates of incarceration. These and other factors leave many people at risk of homelessness.
- Four out of five people suffer economic hardship by the time they’re 60.
- See what you need to earn to afford costs of living with the MIT Living Wage Calculator.
- A paycheck isn’t always enough. Find out which workers struggle most to pay rent.
- Millions of Americans who work an average of 38 hours a week still can’t make ends meet.
- Think you can live well on Social Security Income (SSI) for people with disabilities? Find our what your benefit would be if eligible, then compare that with average rents.