HUD released The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress on November 19. A total of 564,708 individuals were homeless on a single night in January 2015, representing a 2% decline in homelessness since January 2014 and a 13% decline since 2007. The report is based on the annual Point-in-Time count.
Sixty-nine percent of the homeless individuals counted were staying in sheltered locations, such as emergency shelters, transitional housing, or safe havens. Thirty-one percent were unsheltered, living in places not meant for human habitation, such as streets, parks, vehicles, or abandoned buildings. More than one in five homeless people were located in either New York City or Los Angeles.
Thirty-six percent (206,286) of the homeless population in January 2015 were in families with children. Ninety percent of homeless people in families were sheltered and 10% were unsheltered. The number of homeless people in families with children declined by 5% since January 2014 and by 12% since January 2007.
Sixty-four percent (358,422) of the homeless population were living individually (not in families), and 43% of these individuals were unsheltered. The number of homeless individuals not in families declined by 0.5% since 2014 and 13% since 2007.
Thirty-two percent (180,760) of the homeless population were youths under the age of 25, 20% of whom were not accompanied by a parent or guardian and were not a parent sleeping in the same place as their children. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 accounted for 87% of the homeless youth population. Fifty-four percent of unaccompanied homeless youth were sheltered and 46% were unsheltered. There were 9,901 homeless parenting youths under the age of 25, 4% of whom were unsheltered.
More than one in ten homeless adults were veterans, representing 47,725 homeless people. Sixty-six percent of homeless veterans were sheltered and 34% were unsheltered. Most homeless veterans were experiencing homelessness as individuals rather than as members of families with children. Veteran homelessness declined by 35% since 2009.
More than half of the homeless population were located in five states: California (21%), New York (16%), Florida (6%), Texas (4%), and Massachusetts (4%). Between 2014 and 2015, 17 states experienced an increase in their homeless population. The two states with the largest increases in homelessness from 2014 were New York and California. Homelessness declined in the District of Columbia and 33 states. The states with the steepest decreases in homelessness from the previous year were Florida and Texas.
From 2007 to 2015, the homeless population increased in 18 states and the District of Columbia. The five states with the largest increases were New York, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Mississippi. The homeless population declined in 32 states. The five states with the largest declines since 2007 were California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and Georgia.
The AHAR summarizes estimates of homelessness at the national, state, and Continuum of Care (CoC) levels based on data from the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) counts of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. Continua of Care are local planning bodies responsible for coordinating homelessness services. The PIT counts, conducted by local volunteers, are a “snapshot” of homelessness.
The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress is available at http://bit.ly/1lwHVZx.