It wasn't long ago that the City of Amarillo passed a new ordinance on where panhandlers could be standing here in the city. because of some of the locations we've seen panhandlers standing, we feel like the homeless problem is growing.

Perception is everything at the end of the day right? The more people we see asking for stuff on the roads leads us to believe the homeless population is a growing problem.

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Well it turns out, perception ISN'T everything in this case. Yes, people have moved to more public locations, but according to a new a new Point In Time count, the homeless issue in Amarillo has actually gotten better.

According to the survey, we are at our lowest homeless count since 2021 with 525 homeless people in Amarillo. By comparison, that number last year was a staggering 692 people that were counted as homeless.

Another very encouraging sign is that for the first time, Amarillo is showing an equal number of homeless people being in shelters. 262 homeless people were in a shelter in Amarillo compared to 263 who were not sheltered.

Officials mentioned that 2024 is the first year that COVID-19 has contributed to the homelessness problem in the city. Those that are homeless mention the rising costs of rent as well as the high deposit costs being a main driver.

Although the numbers aren't exactly where people would like to see them, there are positives to take away from this. With the overall number dropping so dramatically, we have 167 less homeless people in Amarillo.

The hope is that the number can decline even further, and that Transformation Park can be up and running sooner rather than later. That will help dramatically with the number of unsheltered homeless people in the city.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

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