For many U.S. cities, solving the homelessness crisis is an ongoing challenge, but what does homelessness really look like today and how can we continue to combat this problem in the future? We’ve dissected the recently published Department of Housing & Development’s (HUD) 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report and the results are shocking.
- On a single night in 2019, roughly 568,000 people experienced homelessness in the United States alone. Nearly 357,840 of those were able to stay in a sheltered location while 210,160 people were in unsheltered locations such as on sidewalks, in cars, abandoned buildings, or somewhere else unsuitable for human habitation.
- Between 2007 and 2019, the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night decreased by 12% or 79,543 people. Yet, between 2018 and 2019, the number of people experiencing homelessness nationwide increased by nearly 3% (14,885 people).
- Nearly half of all people experiencing homelessness are in one of three states: California (27%, 151,278 people), New York (16%, 92,091 people), and Florida (5%, 28,328 people). Between 2018 and 2019, California’s homeless population increased by 16% (21,306 people).
- The number of people experiencing homelessness increased in 21 states between 2018 and 2019 while the number of people experiencing homelessness declined in 37 states. See page 82 for a state-by-state breakdown.
- More than half of all unsheltered homeless people were in Continuums of Care (CoCs) that encompass the nation’s 50 largest cities (53%). About one in five (21%) was in a CoC with a largely suburban population. Another one in five (20%) was in a largely rural area, and the remaining 6% were in other urban areas not among the nation’s 50 largest cities.
- 70% (986,045) of people experiencing homelessness are individuals (without children) while 30% (171,670) are homeless in families with at least one adult and one child under the age of 18. The number of people experiencing homelessness in families with children continued to decline by 5% between 2018 and 2019 and by 27% between 2007 and 2019.
- Of the people experiencing homelessness in 2019, 19% (107,069) were children under the age of 18, 8% (45,629) were young adults aged 18-24, and 73% (415,017) were adults aged 25 and older.
- Between 2009 and 2019, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness was cut nearly in half, a decline of 36,000 people. And between 2018 and 2019, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 2% or 793 people. Yet, of every 10,000 veterans in the U.S., 17 still experienced homelessness at least one night in 2019.
- 96,141 people experiencing homelessness were reported to have chronic patterns of homelessness and are much more likely to be unsheltered. The number of individuals with patters of chronic homelessness has increased for the third consecutive year in 2019 at 9% but is still 20% lower than it was in 2007.
- A total of 911,657 beds were dedicated to serving homeless or formerly homeless people in 2019. For the third consecutive year, more beds were dedicated to permanent housing (57% of the total number of beds reported) than to emergency shelters, safe havens, and transitional housing programs (43%).
For the full scope, check out HUD’s 2019 Homeless Assessment Report.
Are you a part of a homeless service organization?
While these numbers may be staggering, there are so many great organizations working to end and prevent future homelessness.
Social Solutions offers software tailored for homeless service organizations to help you meet the regulatory requirements necessary for securing the critical funding your organization depends on, including agencies receiving funding requiring the use of a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
Apricot® is a cloud-based data management software that houses your organization’s data all in one place. This includes advanced reporting, client data, predictive models and more. See how Apricot can help you reduce homelessness in your community today. Connect with our team now for your free demo.