A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Research Recap: The Latest Data on Homelessness

In case you missed any of it, we’ve summarized the key findings of recent data. 

Over the last few months, a wealth of new data on homelessness has been published-much of which we have tweeted, blogged about, or posted to our Facebook page. We also have made links available via the Funders Together website. The variety of research produced includes both national and state-by-state data focused on overall homelessness as well as homelessness among children and veterans in particular. In case you missed any of it, we’ve summarized the key findings for you below and provided links to each resource.

State of Homelessness in America 2012

Just last week (on January 17), the National Alliance to End Homelessness released its second annual ““State of Homelessness in America”:http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/article/detail/4361” report. The Alliance studied national and state-level homeless counts and identified risk factors through an in-depth examination of social and economic indicators. Some key findings are summarized below.

Between 2009 and 2011:

  • The nation’s homeless population decreased by 1%; declining from 643,067 to 636,017
  • Chronic homelessness decreased by 3%; the decrease is associated with an increase in permanent supportive housing beds
  • The unsheltered population increased by 2% from 239,759 to 243,701, the only subpopulation to increase
  • Despite the national decline in homelessness, 24 states and the District of Columbia experienced an increase in homelessness

2011 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness: Supplement to the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report

In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the results of its annual point-in-time snapshot of homelessness. This report aggregates data from local point-in-time counts conducted in communities across the country.

On a single night in January 2011:

  • 636,017 people were homeless, including 399,836 homeless individuals and 236,181 persons in families
  • Homelessness has declined by 2.1% (or 13,900 people) since January 2010 and by 5.3% (or 35,871 people) since January 2007
  • 107,148 people were chronically homeless, which accounts for about 17 % of all homeless people
  • Chronic homelessness declined 2.4% (or 2,664) from last year and 13.5% (or 16,635 persons) since 2007

The United States Conference of Mayors Hunger and Homelessness Survey

Also in December, the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness published the results of a 29-city survey of emergency food assistance and homeless services provided within a one-year span between Sept. 1, 2010 and Aug. 31, 2011.

Among the cities surveyed:

  • Emergency food assistance requests increased by an average of 15.5%
  • 27% of the people needing emergency food assistance did not receive it
  • On average, 26% of homeless adults were severely mentally ill, 16% were physically disabled, 15% were employed, 13% were victims of domestic violence, 13% were veterans, and 4% wereHIV-positive
  • An average of 18% of homeless persons needing assistance did not receive it

America’s Youngest Outcasts 2010: State Report Card Children’s Homelessness

For its 2010 report on children’s homelessness, released in December 2011, the National Center on Family Homelessness assessed the numbers of homeless children per state, their well-being, the risk factors for child homelessness, and called out state-level planning and policy activities.

The report card states:

  • 1.6 million American children, or one in 45 children, are homeless in a year
  • A majority of these children have limited proficiency in math and reading
  • Risks for child homelessness-such as extreme poverty and worst-case housing needs-have worsened with the economic recession
  • Policy activities are limited; 16 states have done no planning related to child homelessness

Veteran Homelessness: A Supplemental Report to the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress

In October 2011, HUD and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs released a second annual report on veteran homelessness, a supplement to HUD’s Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress.

On a single night in January 2010:

  • Homeless veterans accounted for 1 in 150 veterans, and about 1 in 9 veterans living in poverty
  • 76,329 veterans were living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or in unsheltered places (e.g., on the streets, in cars, or in abandoned buildings)
  • Approximately 57% of those homeless were sheltered and 43% were unsheltered
  • Female veterans were more than twice as likely to be homeless as female non-veterans, and female veterans in poverty were more than 3 times as likely to be homeless as non-veterans in poverty

These are a few of the data resources we’ve found helpful lately. If we’ve missed a resource that you find particularly useful, please let us know.

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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