Ending Chronic Homelessness

Can "travel trailers" house the city's homeless?

City Council is currently receiving a hearing on chronic homelessness in the Austin area, the chronically homeless being those with debilitating illnesses or conditions that have been on the streets for an entire year, or have had four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. Let's revisit some of the statistics on Austin's homeless population:

Over a 12 month period, there were over 6,200 homeless people in the Austin area. Between September 12, 2005 and September 12, 2006, 6,242 unique individuals received services from Austin area homeless service providers. (Homeless Management Information System - HMIS)

On any given day, there are approximately 4,000 homeless individuals of which 1,900 are downtown. (Homeless Count 2004)

Over 1,500 children are affected by homelessness in the Austin Independent School District. In the 2005-2006 school year, AISD Project Help served 1,556 homeless students. (AISD Project Help)

There's many proposals, but they're currently discussing use of "travel trailers," wherein a trailer is donated as housing, but residents keep up with the lot fees. A unique and seemingly smart idea, but only one of several if the city's to meet its goal of ending chronic homelessness in the next decade.

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