Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The State of Homelessness in America

The National Alliance to End Homelessness has issued its 2016 report on the State of Homelessness in America.  You can download it here.

Overall, homelessness in America decreased by 2%.

However, the number of people living "doubled up" has increased by 52% since 2007.

The number of people paying more than half their income for rent is up 2.1% nationally. Since 2007, this number has increased 27.7%. It has not decreased with economic recovery; the number has plateaued.

The national decrease in unsheltered homelessness was driven by large decreases in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. Unsheltered homelessness only decreased nationally by about 1800 people (from the graph on page 9 [page 11 of pdf]).

The national rate of homelessness was 17.7 per 10,000 people. Many states were below that, but a few (as well as the District of Columbia) were above (pp. 12-13).
  • Alaska 26.5
  • California 29.8
  • Colorado 18.6
  • Washington, DC 110.8
  • Florida 18.0
  • Hawaii 53.7
  • Maine 17.8
  • Massachusetts 31.3
  • Nevada 30.8
  • New York 44.7
  • Oregon 33.3
  • Vermont 24.3
  • Washington 27.5
The changes in unsheltered homelessness are startling. While nationally the rate decreased by 2.0%, in many states the number of unsheltered homeless rose starkly (map on page 16). Some of the more shocking figures:
  • South Dakota: 147% increase
  • Wyoming: 50% increase
  • Rhode Island: 80% increase
  • Illinois: 60% increase
  • Utah: 45% increase
  • Alaska: 119% increase
Just 18 states reported a decrease in unsheltered homelessness from 2014 to 2015.

The rest of the report is worth reading.