The State of Homelessness in America, 2015. National Alliance to End Homelessness

EXAMINATION OF TRENDS IN HOMELESSNESS, HOMELESSNESS ASSISTANCE, AND AT-RISK POPULATIONS AT THE NATIONAL AND STATE LEVELS.

The State of Homelessness in America 2015 is the fifth in a series of reports that chart progress in ending homelessness in the United States. It uses the most recently available data to present national and state trends in homelessness between 2013 and 2014, trends in populations at risk of homelessness from 2012 to 2013, and trends in the types and utilization of assistance available to people experiencing homelessness.

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

• 34 states had decrease in overall homelessness, while 17 states saw increases. 40 states had decreases in the number of people living in unsheltered locations, including the street, cars, and abandoned buildings.
• The national rate of homelessness fell to 18.3 homeless people per 10,000 people in the general population, but the rate in individual states ranged from 120 in Washington, D.C. to 7 in Mississippi.
• The rate of veteran homelessness continued its descent of the past several years to 25.5 homeless veterans per 10,000 veterans in the general population, but the rate in individual states ranged from 146 in Washington, D.C. to 9 in Virginia.
• The majority of states had decreases in every major sub-population: family homelessness (32 states),
chronically homeless individuals (27 states), and veteran homelessness (28 states).

POPULATIONS AT RISK OF HOMELESSNESS
Many poor people are at risk of homelessness. Ultimately, this is because it is hard for them to afford housing. Unemployment, housing cost burden, and living doubled up are indications of this struggle to afford housing. Longitudinal trends and changes from 2012 to 2013 indicate populations at risk of homelessness may not be experiencing the benefits of the economic recovery.
• The number of unemployed people fell 8.4 percent and the unemployment rate continued its multi-year decline, falling to 7.4 percent. Nearly all states saw decreases in the number of people unemployed, with only 6 states seeing modest increases in the number of unemployed people.
• Despite improvements in employment, the number of people in poverty (4.8 million) and the poverty rate (15.8 percent) remained relatively steady. 26 states saw an increase in the number of people in poverty; 25 saw a decrease.
• The number of people in poor households living doubled up with family and friends grew to 7.7 million people, an increase of 3.7 percent from 2012 to 2013, with 39 states seeing increases. Since 2007, the number of people living doubled up has increased 67 percent.
• The number of poor renter households experiencing severe housing cost burden, those households in poverty paying more than 50 percent of their income toward housing, total 6.4 million in 2013, decreasing by 2.8 percent nationally from 2013 with 37 states seeing a decrease. Since 2007, the number of poor households with severe housing cost burden has increased 25 percent.

state of homlessness – full report

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