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Homeless Adults on the Texas-Mexico Border: Results of a Point-in-Time Survey in One Texas Border Town

Ellen Ryan, Philip Tan, Bonnie Hatchett


The southwestern borderland region of the United States is characterized by poverty, significant unemployment, and high rates of homelessness, especially among the immigrant population. One difficuly in determining how to assist the homeless is the lack of information about this population. This study was undertaken in response to the research gap in one border community - El Paso, Texas. The aim of this study is to determine the characteristics of homeless persons in El Paso using the "point in time" or "point prevalence" technique. The El Paso Coalition for the Homeless collaborated with the Social Work Program at the University of Texas at El Paso to address this issue. A total of 664 persons residing in homeless shelters were counted and 333 individuals were surveyed. Of these, 227 were adults over the age of 18. In this study, the characteristics of the people surveyed are described and compared to the general population of El Paso and the homeless population in a number of non-border locations.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229