Homelessness In America

Top 5 Facts About Homelessness In The US

1.The official number of homeless people in the US is over 500,000. But experts believe the real number is closer to 3 million.

According to the US State of Homelessness report, 564,708 people experience homelessness on any given night—meaning they sleep outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.

Amongst 32 of the largest US cities, DC has the highest homelessness rate with over 8,000 homeless individuals, or 124  homeless people for every 10,000 residents in the general population.

The rate in DC is almost double the national average.

2. The average age of a homeless person is 9 years old.

The face of homelessness is not an old man– it’s actually a young child. HUD reports that on any given night, over 138,000 of the homeless in the US are children under the age of 18.

In our nation’s capital, families make up 52% of the homeless community.

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3. The main cause of homelessness isn’t drugs or alcohol – it’s a lack of affordable housing.

With rent prices soaring across US cities, many low-income people turn to subsidized housing for a place to sleep.

But in recent years, HUD’s budget has been slashed by over 50%, resulting in the loss of 10,000 units of subsidized low-income housing each and every year.

4. For women, the main cause of homelessness is domestic abuse.

Over 90% of homeless women are victims of severe physical or sexual abuse, and escaping that abuse is a leading cause of their homelessness.

Slipping in and out of homelessness, studies find DC women stay in a low-barrier shelter a median number of 27 nights.

5. You can do a LOT to help.

Many homeless people rely on non-profits like Thrive DC for daily hot meals and showers. But with government funding cuts, these organizations need your help fundraising and donating.

Just $26 provides organizations like Thrive DC with a full month of hot showers for their homeless clients. You can also see your donations in action by volunteering with Thrive DC.

And if you encounter a homeless person on the street and want to help right then and there, print out or pick up these cards that include info about how to get any sort of help they may need.

Consider helping out your community today!

 

Elizabeth Hasier

 

 

 

 

 

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