The nation’s homelessness rates continue to decline, announced the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in its 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress in November. The results are based on the 2015 “point-in-time” estimates, which are captured by volunteers counting the number of local sheltered and unsheltered homeless people on a single night in late January.
Progress has been made on the homelessness front in many communities, but others are still struggling because of budget shortages, housing affordability, and slow adoption of best practices.
“While we are seeing strong progress in some communities, we also know that we need to accelerate progress in others,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “While communities work hard to use their current resources as efficiently as they can and to implement Housing First practices, we are working to provide the additional federal investments, included in the president’s fiscal 2016 budget, that are needed to drive greater progress toward ending homelessness for all Americans.”
Here’s a snapshot of HUD’s findings:
- Homelessness has declined by 11%, more than 72,000 people, since 2010 when President Obama launched the first-ever comprehensive strategy to combat the crisis. On a given night in January, an estimated 564,708 people were homeless, with 69% found staying in residential programs and 31% in unsheltered locations.
- Veteran homelessness has decreased by 36% between 2010 and January. Less than 48,000 veterans were found to be homeless during the January count, with only 34% on the streets. HUD said it expects this trend to continue.
- Chronic homelessness among individuals has declined 22% since 2010. More than 83,000 individuals were reported as chronically homeless in the January count.
- Family homelessness saw a 5% year-over-year reduction and a 19% decline since 2010.
- The estimated number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children was 36,097 in January, although HUD and communities are working to improve their data collection on this demographic.
For a detailed look at the homeless data on the state and
community levels, visit https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/4832/2015-ahar-part-1-pit-estimates-of-homelessness/.