San Antonio's Silent Crisis: Affordable housing options adding to homeless population
San Antonio is at or near the top of several studies examining inequality across the nation, a distinction no city wants.
We're calling it San Antonio's Silent Crisis. Over the next year, News 4 San Antonio is committed to exploring the problem and finding solutions.
San Antonio's population is growing but housing options for some are not. The city's success in growth is coming with issues for the city's lower income family.
"I don't know where to start. Just availability of housing that's affordable is one." said Kenny Wilson, the CEO of Haven for Hope in San Antonio.
There are currently about 1,700 people living at Haven for Hope, a facility for homeless individuals and families in the city. On a given night, the center can see 500-700 people sleeping in their courtyard.
A January survey showed a dramatic increase in the homeless population. Wilson believes the growing population is a contributing factor.
"We have people living at Haven right now that were in an apartment that were priced out," said Wilson.
Wilson works with six teams at Haven for Hope dedicated to finding homeless individuals stable housing. Every year, they say their works becomes more challenging as property taxes and rent rise - leaving low income families with few options.
"A landlord that maybe has historically had what would be called affordable housing, he or she says, I can raise the rent and I need to because the taxes are more so that just further squeezes out someone that has been homeless and or someone that has little or no income.," said Wilson.