Children and Teens Leading Increase in S.A. Homeless Population

There are some disturbing trends in the latest study of the San Antonio homeless population, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The number of homeless in San Antonio has grown sharply, but especially concerning to Bill Hubbard of the South Texas Regional Alliance for the Homeless is the increasing number of children and teenagers who are now listed as homeless.

"What I can't answer is who are those youth, are they foster kids, are they runaways," he said.3,066 people were identified as 'homeless' in the Point in Time Homeless Count, which was conducted in January.

While the Haven for Hope and other local shelters are seeing a small uptick in numbers, the largest gain was in people who are 'sleeping rough,' in alleys and under bridges.  That number almost doubled in 2018, from 450 last year to 705 this year.

"I know the Salvation Army and the Haven for Hope family units are always full," Hubbard said.

At the same time, he says what are referred to as the 'chronic homeless' numbers in the city are down.

Several reasons are given for the increase in homelessness, including drug addiction, especially addiction to opioids and artificial marijuana, as well as higher housing costs, which are pushing some people who were only marginally housed into the streets.

As for the kids, Hubbard says it is believed that most of them are from the state's broken foster care system.

"If there are systemic problems in the system, that is going to roll over into other social service arenas," he said.

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