The Homeless Crisis
- Over a 5-year period, about 2 - 3% of the U.S. population (5 - 8 million people) will experience at least one night of homelessness.
- Nationally, about 750,000 people experience homelessness on any given night.
- People remain homeless an average for eight months. 23% are chronically homeless.
- Families with children are among the fastest growing segments among the homeless .
- A study of 50 cities concluded that in each city, the official estimated number of homeless greatly exceeds the number of emergency shelters.
- Nearly half of the homeless people (44%) are unsheltered, or living on the street.
- Battered women who live in poverty are often forced to choose between abuse and homelessness.
- Officials estimate that on average, single men comprise 51% of the homeless population, families with children 30%, single women 17%, and unaccompanied youth 2%.
- Only 16% of homeless are considered mentally ill; 26% substance abusers.
- States with the highest rates of homelessness by percentage of state population are District of Columbia, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington state.
- Minimum wage earnings no longer lift families above the poverty line.
- Homeless children have twice the rate of learning disabilities and three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems as non-homeless children.