Homeless Statistics

Demographics:
The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress estimates that persons in families account for 37% of the total homeless population. Among the remaining two-thirds of persons who were homeless as singles, about half were in shelters and half were living in some location not meant for habitation such as the street or an abandoned building.

U.S. Homeless Statistics by State:

  # of Homeless % of Population
New York 61,067 0.31%
California1 133,129 0.36%
Wash. D.C.2 6,228 1.03%
Georgia 20,360 0.21%
Illinois 14,055 0.11%
Maryland 11,698 0.21%
Texas 36,761 0.15%
Kansas3 1,892 0.07%
Wyoming4 515 0.09%

1 largest number of homeless
2
largest per capita homeless

3 smallest per capita homeless
4
smallest number of homeless

Sources: National Alliance to End Homelessness and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Unmet Needs:
Emergency homeless service providers in a sample of U.S. cities reported that they had to turn away a total of 27% of all requests for emergency shelter because of a lack of sufficient resources, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Remaining Homeless:According to 2006 figures, people remain homeless an average of eight months.

Challenges:
Twenty-six percent of homeless adults served by shelters report having a serious mental illness diagnosis, and 35% report having a substance abuse problem, according to the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Increasing Numbers:
A 2011 report by the Coalition for the Homeless found that in the year prior, the total number of persons served by New York City shelters had increased nearly 8% over the previous year, to a level not seen by New Yorkers since the Great Depression.