Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Face of Homelessness in America — HUD's Annual Report to Congress

On June 16, 2010, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its annual report to Congress on homelessness in America.

The annual report is generally considered the best estimate of homelessness across the nation.

Among the findings in this document are the following:

* On a single night in January 2009, there were an estimated 643,067 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people nationwide.

* Of this number, about 60% of the homeless were in emergency shelters or transitional housing, while 40 % lived "on the street" or in other places not meant for human habitation.

* From October 2008 to September 2009, nearly 1.56 million people in the US used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program.

* While the number of homeless individuals decreased slightly from 2008 to 2009, the number of homeless families increased, probably as a result of the economic recession.

* A "typical" sheltered homeless person in 2009 was an adult male, a member of a minority group, middle-aged, and alone.