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Homeless in Texas

Why homelessness is going down in Houston but up in Dallas

Although the view on the streets might tell a different story, Houston decreased its homeless population by 54% since 2011, according to an annual census. In Dallas, the trend is the opposite — and housing affordability might make the problem even worse.

Women line up outside Austin Street Center, an emergency homeless shelter serving Dallas, a little after 1 p.m. on June 25, 2019. Intake time is 2 p.m. for women and 4.p.m. for men, and, according to staff, it reaches or nears its capacity of 400 beds every day. They coordinate with other Dallas area shelters to find additional beds if needed.

Latest in the series: Homeless in Texas

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A large homeless camp near downtown Houston on June 23, 2019.
Percy Lyons in his temporary housing of four years in Houston on June 25, 2019 .

The challenge of affordability in Dallas

Hope Beaver, a complex needs case manager at Austin Street Center, speaks with an elderly client who needs to visit the Social Security office for a new card, on June 25, 2019.

“We have not grown our social service infrastructure. ... Maybe we’ve added a few hundred beds, but our Metroplex has grown 10 times over.”

— Daniel Roby, CEO, Austin Street Center
Inside Austin Street Center, an emergency homeless shelter serving Dallas, on June 25, 2019. The men's section is on the right and the women's section is enclosed by dividers on the left. The 400-bed shelter meets or nears capacity every day.

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