Wednesday May 25, 201103:19 PM GMT
Quick Facts: Homelessness in US
Wed May 25, 2011 3:3PM
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Highlights

 

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were over 643,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide on a single night in January 2009. Rebuilding Baltimore

 

About 1.56 million people used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program during the 12-month period between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. This number suggests that roughly 1 in every 200 persons in the U.S. used the shelter system at some point in that period. Rebuilding Baltimore

 

The nation's homeless population increased by approximately 20,000 people from 2008 to 2009 (3 percent increase). End Homelessness

 

While most people experiencing homelessness are sheltered, nearly 4 in 10 were living on the street, in a car, or in another place not intended for human habitation. End Homelessness

 

Homelessness in America

 

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were over 643,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide on a single night in January 2009. Rebuilding Baltimore

 

About 1.56 million people used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program during the 12-month period between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. This number suggests that roughly 1 in every 200 persons in the U.S. used the shelter system at some point in that period. Rebuilding Baltimore

 

A report released by the National Alliance to End Homelessness in January 2011 in Washington, D.C. has stated that homelessness is underreported in the United States. End Homelessness

 

Key findings of the report on homelessness:

 

The nation's homeless population increased by approximately 20,000 people from 2008 to 2009 (3 percent increase). End Homelessness

 

There were also increased numbers of people experiencing homelessness in each of the subpopulations examined in this report: families, individuals, chronic, unsheltered. End Homelessness

 

A majority - 31 of 50 states and the District of Columbia - had increases in their homeless counts. The largest increase was in Louisiana, where the homeless population doubled. End Homelessness

 

Among subpopulations, the largest percentage increase was in the number of family households, which increased by over 3,200 households (4 percent increase). End Homelessness

 

Also, the number of persons in families increased by more than 6,000 people (3 percent increase). In Mississippi, the number of people in homeless families increased by 260 percent. End Homelessness

 

While most people experiencing homelessness are sheltered, nearly 4 in 10 were living on the street, in a car, or in another place not intended for human habitation. End Homelessness

 

In Wisconsin, twice as many people experienced homelessness without shelter in 2009 as did in 2008. End Homelessness

 

It is widely agreed upon that there is a vast undercount of the number of young people experiencing homelessness. Underscoring this is the fact that 35 percent of all communities reported that there were no homeless youth in their communities in 2009. End Homelessness

 

Economic indicators

 

From 2008 to 2009, the number of unemployed people in America increased by 60 percent from 8.9 to 14.3 million. End Homelessness

 

Every state and the District of Columbia had an increase in the number of unemployed people. The number of unemployed people in Wyoming doubled. End Homelessness

 

Nearly three-quarters of all U.S. households with incomes below the federal poverty line spend over 50 percent of their monthly household income on rent. End Homelessness

 

Over 80 percent of households below the federal poverty line in Florida, Nevada, and California spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent. End Homelessness

 

Forty states saw an increase in the number of poor households experiencing severe housing cost burden from 2008 to 2009. End Homelessness

 

While real income among all U.S. workers decreased by 1 percent in 2009, poor workers' income decreased even more, dropping by 2 percent to $9,151. Poor workers in Alaska, the District of Columbia, Maine, and Rhode Island saw their incomes decrease by more than 10 percent. End Homelessness

 

Foreclosure affected nearly half a million more households in 2009 than in 2008, a 21 percent increase for a total of 2.8 million foreclosed units in 2009. End Homelessness

 

The number of foreclosed units more than doubled in Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, and West Virginia. End Homelessness

 

Demographic drivers

 

The doubled up population (people living with family or friends for economic reasons) increased by 12 percent to more than 6 million people from 2008 to 2009. In Rhode Island the number increased by 90 percent; in South Dakota the number more than doubled. End Homelessness

 

In the course of a year, the estimated odds of experiencing homelessness for a doubled up person are 1 in 10. End Homelessness

 

In the course of a year, the estimated odds of experiencing homelessness for a released prisoner are 1 in 11. End Homelessness

 

In the course of a year, the estimated odds of experiencing homelessness for a young adult who ages out of foster care are 1 in 6. End Homelessness

 

While the national number of uninsured people remained relatively constant, 33 states saw an increase in the number of uninsured people. End Homelessness

 

States with multiple risk factors

 

Half of all states have multiple risk factors for increased homelessness; that is, they have rates worse than the national average on at least two of five indicators (unemployment, foreclosure, doubled up, housing cost burden, lack of health insurance). End Homelessness

 

California, Florida, and Nevada - states known to have been disproportionately impacted by the recent housing crisis - have both high rates of homelessness and high levels of unemployment, foreclosure, housing cost burden, lack of insurance, and doubling up. End Homelessness

 

ARA/SM

 

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