American Homelessness in 10 Fast Facts

1. On one night in January, 578,424 people across the country were homeless, sleeping either outside or in an emergency/transitional housing program.

2. In 2014, the national rate of homelessness was 18.3 homeless individuals for every 10,000 people in the general population.

Rates of homelessness in each individual state ranged from only 7 per 10,000 in Mississippi, to a whopping 120 per 10,000 in Washington, DC.

3. In 2015, federal funding devoted to addressing homelessness totaled $4.5 billion, and this aid is slowly but surely helping!

4. From 2013 to 2014, our capacity for rapid re-housing increased substantially from under 20,000 beds to nearly 38,000 beds.

That’s an increase of about 90%!

5. Additionally, he number of permanent supportive housing beds nationwide also grew from under 16,000 beds to over 300,000 beds!

This increase was seen in 35 states across the country, but unfortunately 15 states saw a decrease in permanent supportive housing beds during the same time period.

6. The greatest decreases in homelessness have been seen among veterans and among people who experience chronic homelessness.

Since 2009, veteran homelessness has declined by 33%, and since 2007 chronic homelessness has decreased by 30%.

7. From 2013 to 2014, the number of homeless individuals in America decreased by 2.3% across the nation. However, this change was very different state to state.

Arizona, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wyoming decreased homelessness by over 20% in each state! Yet other states saw great increases in homelessness, namely Nevada (+25%) and Idaho (+18%).

8. Despite these steps forward, there is still much work to be done. In 2014 over 30% of homeless individuals across the country remained unsheltered (living somewhere unfit for human habitation) on any given night.

Many states are working hard to address unsheltered homelessness, such as South Dakota who decreased this population by 84% from 2013 to 2014. However, Idaho saw a 69% increase and Maine saw a 50% increase in this population.

9. Though the number of chronically homeless individuals has decreased overall, those who remain chronically homeless are unsheltered 63% of the time.

10. Of homeless “unaccompanied” children (anyone under 18 who is not attached to a family or household), in 2014 60% of these children were not in a shelter on any given night.

Of youths aged 18-24 who are unaccompanied, 46% were still left unsheltered.

Works Cited

The State of Homelessness in America 2015. (2015). National Alliance to End Homelessness. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from

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