The National Alliance to End Homelessness states that there are 564,708 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the US. 36,907 (6.38%) are children, 47,725 (8.33%) are veterans, and 269,991 (47.6%) are disabled and unable to work.
In April of 2014, The National Coalition for the Homeless published a report on “Discrimination and Economic Profiling among the Homeless of Washington, DC.” This report takes a deeper look at the discrimination experienced by individuals living in homeless as a result of their housing status. The survey simultaneously highlights other characteristics such as, gender and ethnicity and how those factors also influence the individual’s experience.
April 8th, 2013, the National Alliance to End Homelessness released a report entitled “The State of Homelessness in America 2013“. The report takes an in depth look at the trends in the homeless population over the year 2011-2012 and the factors that contribute to the changes in the population. The report is available in .pdf format from their website. Read it here.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, two trends are largely responsible for the rise in homelessness in America over the past 20-25 years: a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty. Persons living in poverty are most at risk of becoming homeless. In the United States, homelessness is an undeniable reality that impacts people of all ages, ethnicities, and life circumstances.
Many factors can contribute to a person becoming homeless. These factors include (but are not limited to):
• Lack of affordable housing
• Job loss
• Lack of health care
• Mental illness
• Substance abuse
• Domestic violence
The National Coalition for the Homeless publishes a number of factsheets on various aspects of homelessness. Each sheet summarizes facts and issues and contains a list of recommended reading for further research. Click here to learn more.
“The Obama administration released a plan designed to end homelessness in 10 years. The goal reflects new optimism among academics and advocates that homelessness is not an intractable feature of urban life, as it has sometimes seemed, but a problem that can be solved. This belief is fueled by recent research debunking a number of long-standing myths about homelessness in America — and showing that many of our old policies were unwittingly making the problem worse.” By Dennis Culhane