Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releases their annual Homeless Assessment Report. In 2016, they reported:
- Nearly 550,000 people are homeless on any given night in the United States.
- Two-thirds stay in emergency shelters or transitional housing, while one-third sleep in an unsheltered location on the street.
- 35% of the homeless population are families with children.
- 22% of the homeless are children under the age of 18.
- 10% of the homeless are veterans.
- Senior homelessness is on the rise, with the amount of homeless seniors expected to increase to 95,000 by 2050.
- Just five states account for half of the homeless population: California (22%), New York (16%), Florida (6%), Texas (4%), and Washington (4%).
- The city with the highest population of homeless people is New York City.
Fortunately, despite these statistics, the trends suggest that shelters and transitional housing programs work. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of people staying in such programs declined by 5%.