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

Unsheltered Homelessness Resources

National Data and Resources


Understanding Encampments of People Experiencing Homelessness and Community Responses: Emerging Evidence as of Late 2018

HUD Office of Policy Development and Research

June 20, 2019

This paper documents what is known about homeless encampments as of late 2018, based on a review of the limited literature produced by academic and research institutions and public agencies, supplemented by interviews with key informants. 

Exploring the Crisis of Unsheltered Homelessness
National Alliance to End Homelessness
June 20, 2018

The National Alliance to End Homelessness launched their Unsheltered blog series, which explores trends, data, and interventions related to unsheltered homelessness.

2018 AHAR: Part 1 - PIT Estimates of Homelessness in the U.S.
Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)
December 2018

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releases the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) in two parts. Part 1 provides Point-inTime (PIT) estimates, offering a snapshot of homelessness—both sheltered and unsheltered— on a single night, including breakdowns by age, gender, and race/ethnicity.

Tools, Policies & Templates for Addressing Unsheltered Homelessness
September 2018

These documents were developed by CSH, based on materials created by Project HOME and the City of Philadelphia, as open source documents for use by any community, agency or organization without attribution to the authors required.

Tent City, USA: The Growth of America’s Homeless Encampments and How Communities are Responding
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

This report by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (“the Law Center”) documents the apparent rapid growth of encampments of people experiencing homelessness or “tent cities” across the United States and the legal and policy responses to that growth.


Local Resources and Research


Report on City of Seattle and King County Building New Regional Homelessness Response System
Future Laboratories
January 2019

The City of Seattle and King County are committed to ending homelessness. In August of 2018, they partnered with Future Laboratories to launch a community-driven process of listening and, ultimately, designing a stronger regional response.

This website captures the results of this collaborative journey and lays out 10 Actions necessary to move forward. In 2019, dozens of partners across the region will come together to build a regional Homelessness Response System that can achieve greater levels of equity and impact.

California is Moving People into Sheds – But Is It Right?
The Guardian
January 14,2019

This article highlights unsheltered homelessness in Oakland where encampments are being removed by authorities and police. A controversial “tuff shed” experiment, which involves housing homeless people in makeshift structures that resemble basic toolsheds, has taken the place of encampments. Through interviews, this article highlights the flaws in the "Tuff Shed" experiment, while also giving background to encampments in Oakland and to racial inequity's impact on the homeless population.

Principles and Practices for Local Responses to Unsheltered Homelessness: Guidelines for Municipalities
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
October 2018

Street-based homelessness across Los Angeles County creates significant health and safety stressors for the entire community – especially those living on the streets. Strategies to mitigate these stressors must address the concerns of both unsheltered residents and their housed neighbors, as well as share the goal of providing a long-term solution to street-based homelessness. The following policy guidance stems from a recognition of Los Angeles’ unique local context, as well as research into promising practices both locally and nationally.


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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