On a single night in January of 2019, there were 567, 715 homeless people in the United States according to the most recent report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Story and info-graphic by Andrew Fraieli
On a single night in January of 2019, there were 567,715 homeless people in the United States according to the most recent report by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Released annually, the report is a breakdown of who is homeless and to what degree. The information is gained by what the National Alliance to End Homelessness calls a “point-in-time-count,” which they define as, “an unduplicated count on a single night of the people in a community who are experiencing homelessness that includes both sheltered and unsheltered populations.”
The “point-in-time count” is possible thanks to a federal fund called the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant program which requires communities that receive it — such as many Continuums of Care nationwide — to participate in the survey. This does mean that the report’s numbers are not exact and they are stated as estimates. Private shelters that are not federally funded, such as the COSAC Foundation, would not be included as well as unsheltered homeless who could not be found by volunteers and shelter workers.
To the right are some of the statistics found by the survey, but the report also includes “key findings” that help give context to the numbers.
For example, some places saw a rise in homelessness over the past year such as California — which saw a 16 percent increase or 21,306 people, with unsheltered homelessness increasing by 21 percent or about 18,000 people. The overall homelessness in the U.S., though, has decreased by 20 percent — or by about 24,000 people — between 2007 and 2019.
Other key findings in the report were that “the number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by two percent between 2018 and 2019 and has dropped by almost 50 percent since 2009,” but also that African Americans represented “40 percent of all people experiencing homelessness, despite being 13 percent of the U.S. population.”