NAEH released the Homelessness Counts report today. This report provides a “groundwork for measuring efforts to end homelessness by establishing a baseline number of homeless people from which to monitor trends in homelessness.” This report reviews the “estimated 744,313 people experienced homelessness” in January 2005.
This report is important we encourage everyone to review and comment on this report.
A movement to end homelessness is underway. Thousands of stakeholders – policymakers, advocates, researchers, practitioners, former and current homeless people, community leaders, and concerned citizens – from across the country are involved in efforts to end homelessness at the local and national level. Today, hundreds of communities are re-tooling their homeless assistance systems and have committed to ending homelessness through local plans. At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developmentâ€™s (HUD) homelessness assistance programs are targeting resources to permanent housing, and the Congress and the Bush Administration have committed to ending chronic homelessness by developing 150,000 units of permanent supportive housing for people who have been homeless for long periods. The private sector, through major philanthropic organizations, is engaging and funding efforts that focus on permanent solutions for homeless people. And new research and imaginative policies at the state and local level are paving the way. Taken together, these efforts represent a nationwide effort to end homelessness.
How will we know if these efforts are successful? This report lays the groundwork for measuring efforts to end homelessness by establishing a baseline number of homeless people from which to monitor trends in homelessness. We use local point-in-time counts of homeless people to create an estimate of the number of homeless people nationwide.
As with all data, the counts included in this report are not perfect and have numerous limitations, but they are the best data available at this time.
In January 2005, an estimated 744,313 people experienced homelessness.
56 percent of homeless people counted were living in shelters and transitional housing and, shockingly, 44 percent were unsheltered.
59 percent of homeless people counted were single adults and 41 percent were persons living in families.
In total, 98,452 homeless families were counted.
23 percent of homeless people were reported as chronically homeless, which, according to HUDâ€™s definition, means that they are homeless for long periods or repeatedly and have a disability.
A number of states had high rates of homelessness, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington State. In addition, Washington, DC had a high rate of homeless people.