While Austin may have seemed like the epicenter of the homelessness issue this summer, data shows that the severity of the issue in Austin aligns with the national average.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, about 17 of every 10,000 U.S. residents were homeless in 2018. Travis County had 17.5 homeless individuals per 10,000 residents counted on a single night in January 2018, the highest ratio in Texas but far lower than Los Angeles—53.44 homeless individuals per 10,000 residents—and King County, Washington, which includes Seattle—55.34 homeless individuals per 10,000 residents.
But not every American city is struggling to contain the problem. Community Solutions, a national nonprofit that works to find effective solutions to homelessness, has certified 12 communities as achieving “functional zero” with certain segments of their homeless populations, meaning those communities have fewer homeless people than they can permanently house in a single month.