Citing COVID-19 concerns, Austin's Ending Community Homelessness Coalition announced via a release on Thursday that the annual Point in Time Count would not happen this year.
The PIT Count is a nationwide event that enlists hundreds of volunteers to track the number of people experiencing homelessness and count data on the city's homeless population; the PIT Count is required in communities that receive federal funding for homelessness relief.
Instead, ECHO requested an exception from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to use other resources to measure homelessness data this year. It will be using the Homeless Management Information System for 2021.
Last year, Austin's PIT Count was taken by 886 volunteers. In its statement, ECHO said that going through with the count "would be irresponsible at best and negligent at worst," for the following reasons:
- Rising COVID-19 cases in Austin/Travis County that recently triggered Stage 5 guidelines
- People experiencing homelessness are at high risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19 and contact tracing is more difficult
- A lack of health insurance in Austin/Travis County limits access to testing and/or treatment
- An in-person count would pull resources, within ECHO and among direct service providers, away from the COVID-19 emergency response
- A lower volunteer turnout resulting from safety guidelines would almost certainly lead to an undercount, which is more damaging to the response system than estimating the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness using other datasets
ECHO said it would expect to see an increase in homelessness if they did perform a count, due in part to the economic struggles the Austin community has faced in light of COVID-19.
"A lot of people are hurting right now, and while we don't currently have data to show an increase in homelessness in Austin as a result, we expect to start seeing the effects in the coming weeks and months," ECHO Research and Evaluation Director Akram Al-Turk said. "We can look to other data points, like unemployment and eviction rates, to understand the impact of the pandemic and how many families will continue to suffer without assistance from every level of government."
ECHO counted 2,506 people across the city experiencing homelessness in 2020. 1,574 of them were without shelter altogether, a 45% increase in the city's unsheltered population from 2019. Homelessness has been one of the most pressing issues facing the city in recent years.
This year, ECHO will still count the number of individuals experiencing sheltered homelessness on Jan. 28, and the Housing Inventory Count, which measures housing opportunities. With that data and the HMIS count, ECHO will estimate unsheltered homelessness on the night of the count.
ECHO said they don't anticipate this to impact funding.
- Crews clean up trash, needles and human waste at Austin homeless ... ›
- Austin's homeless camps face antagonists, COVID and cleanups ... ›
- Photo essay: Austin's homeless camps amid COVID, cleanups ... ›
- 2020 was "unprecedented" and 2021 hasn't been much different - austonia ›
- Austin Mayor Steve Adler says camping ban 'is not working' - austonia ›
- Who is homeless in Austin, and why? - austonia ›
- How many are homeless in austin in 2021 - austonia ›
It's not on the level of LeBron signing with the Spurs, but who knows, maybe you'll see him at Guero's one day, having a Rob's Especial marg and a No. 1 dinner?
LeBron James, Draymond Green, Kevin Love, LeBron's business partner Maverick Carter, and a bunch of other sports-related investors are buying a Major League Pickleball expansion franchise.
Oddly, MLP teams aren't associated with places, so at this point it's just "an expansion team."
But Major League Pickelball is based in Austin, created, according to the Austin Business Journal, by Dreamland and Richard's Rainwater owner Steve Kuhn.
League investors include familiar Austin names like C3 Presents founders Charles Attal and Charlie Walker, Parsley Energy founder and partial Austin FC owner Brian Sheffield, Silicon Labs Chairman Nav Sooch, and pickleball enthusiast Brené Brown.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!