Report: Harvey Added to Houston Homeless Population

The Houston area's homeless population grew to more than 4,100 in January -- up slightly from last year thanks in large part to Hurricane Harvey.

At least 250 people said they only become homeless in recent months, hampering local efforts to rid of so-called "tent cities." 

"Groups of folks who are living in encampment areas are really in two areas right now, the one over by Minute Maid Park and there's one under 59 in the Midtown District that is near the Wheeler Metro train station," says Marilyn Brown, CEO of Houston’s Coalition for the Homeless.

She says the city is working to build what's called a low-barrier shelter to accommodate them.

"That means they can bring their pets, they can store their stuff, and for many of our homeless shelters that's a limitation because of size," says Brown.  "Those that are still on the street have just resisted the traditional shelters."

"We hear about budget cuts all around, so is this a place where philanthropy could step up and help at least repurpose the building and get it up and running so all that would be needed is operating cash?"

She remains hopeful some federal money could also come their way since the Department of Housing and Urban Development saw an increase this year.

Overall, Brown says homelessness in the Houston region still has been cut in half in recent years.

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