HUD in March 2008 released The Second Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR 2). During a six month period from January to June 2006, 1,150,000 persons used emergency shelter and/or transitional housing. The total includes 838,000 persons in households without children (73 percent) and 313,000 persons in households with children (27 percent). The six-month estimate (January to June 2006) is 2.5 times the one night sheltered count (January 2005) and 1.6 times the total number of sheltered homeless persons over a three-month period (February to April 2005) reported in the first AHAR. According to the report, To read the full report click here.
According to AHAR2 these are some of the other observations:
Other key findings about sheltered homeless persons based on six months of HMIS data include:
The majority of all shelter users (53 percent) are single adult males. By comparison, single adult men constitute just 23 percent of the U.S. population and 16 percent of the poverty population.
Children represent roughly 20 percent of all people who use the shelter system. This includes unaccompanied youth and children in households with adults. Although this is a lower percentage than that of children among the U.S. poverty population (35 percent), the number of children who not only are poor but also become homeless is a cause for concern.
Homelessness disproportionately affects minorities, especially African Americans. Minorities constitute one-third of the total U.S. population and about half of the poverty population, but about two-thirds of the sheltered homeless population. African-Americans are heavily overrepresented in the sheltered homeless population, representing about 44 percent of the sheltered homeless population but 23 percent of the poverty population and only 12 percent of the general population.
Fourteen percent of all homeless adults who accessed a shelter during the six-month time period are veterans. While underrepresented among the poverty population, veterans are overrepresented in the homeless shelter population when compared to the general population.
A significant proportion of the sheltered homeless population is disabled. Sheltered homeless adults are more than twice as likely to have a disability when compared to the general U.S. population. Approximately 38 percent of adults who used a shelter between January 1 and June 30, 2006 had a disabling condition compared to 30 percent of the poverty population and 17 percent of the total U.S. population.