Texas as a whole last year recorded a 28% drop in homelessness since 2012, while California’s homeless population grew by 43% over the same period. In Texas, 81 people are homeless for every 100,000 residents. In California, the rate is more than five times worse.

And that’s despite the fact that Texas spends far fewer state dollars on homelessness. Last year, not counting federal money, Texas put $19.7 million into its three main homelessness programs – equal to about $806 per unhoused person. California, on the other hand, poured $1.85 billion into its three main programs – or $10,786 for every unhoused person.

How do residents view homelessness in each state? The difference is stark: Homelessness is the No. 1 issue on California voters’ minds, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. In a 2020 poll of Texas residents, it didn’t even crack the top 10.