In the recent State of Homelessness Address, Housing Forward announced the results of the 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, evaluated the trends in our community, and announced what is next for our system. By fostering collaboration, allocating necessary resources, and prioritizing permanent housing, we can and will effectively make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. According to the 2023 Point-in-Time Count, there were 4,244 individuals experiencing homelessness in Dallas and Collin Counties. This was the lowest count in the past five years and presented an overall decrease of 4% in homelessness. We also observed a 14% decline in unsheltered homelessness and a noteworthy 32% decrease in chronic homelessness.
The Dallas R.E.A.L. Time Rapid Rehousing initiative proved that when we, as a community, invest resources in permanent solutions we can move the needle on homelessness. Through the addition of 80 dedicated case managers and the fortification of Housing Forward’s internal infrastructure, we undertook a monumental effort. With a cumulative investment of $62 million in Federal funding and $10 million in private funding, we set a bold objective to house 2,700 individuals by the end of September 2023. Through these investments we have housed more than 2,023 individuals, with an impressive 99% retention rate.
Housing Forward and the All Neighbors Coalition have garnered further recognition and support for our effective solutions through additional funding. In the recent months, the effectiveness of our system in tackling homelessness has garnered remarkable support, including a $1.25 million grant from the Bezos Day One Families Fund to address family homelessness, an unprecedented Federal grant of $22.8 million to combat unsheltered homelessness, and a 20% increase in our system’s annual Federal funding to $22 million.
So, what is next? Through these new resources we can expand the Dallas R.E.A.L. Time Rapid Rehousing initiative, a model which has been proven to be successful. However, our growth extends beyond the scope of this specific initiative. We are excited to announce that we are migrating to a new name and shared brand of R.E.A.L. Time Rehousing Initiative to reflect our regional diversion and rehousing efforts in total.
As a community, we have proven that by aligning our resources and efforts, remarkable progress can be achieved in reducing homelessness. With the R.E.A.L. Time Rehousing Initiative, we have a new goal of housing 6,000 individuals by 2025. Under this expanded initiative and with the use of new funding, we will sustain our growth in Rapid Rehousing while increasing the availability of additional pathways out of homelessness with Permanent Supportive Housing for people experiencing Chronic homelessness, and Diversion interventions, which brings housing to the front door of our system, helping households avoid shelters stays and immediately resolve their housing crisis. Together, we can solve homelessness in Dallas and Collin Counties, so that every neighbor has a safe, stable place to call home.
You can watch the State of Homelessness in its entirety here.