The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) released their annual report on homelessness and hunger in 38 cities. Only nine of the cities had rates of unsheltered homelessness higher than the national average, but they accounted for approximately one out of every five unsheltered homeless persons in the country: Los Angeles, CA; Long Beach, CA; Pasadena, CA; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; and Gresham, OR; Honolulu, HI; San Antonio, TX; and Austin, TX.
Other key findings include:
- Individuals accounted for 59.5% of the homeless population in the 38 cities, compared to 64.5% nationally.
- Chronic homelessness accounted for 14.3% of homeless people in the 38 cities, compared to 13.9% nationally.
When city officials participating in the survey were asked what was needed most to address homelessness, they overwhelmingly indicated a need for more affordable housing and housing assistance.
With regard to hunger, requests for food assistance increased during the past year in 41% of the surveyed cities by an average of 2%. Seventy-one percent of cities reported an increase in requests from first-time clients. Mayors participating in the survey were asked to identify three main causes of hunger in their cities. Eighty-eight percent named low wages, 59% indicated high housing costs and poverty, 41% cited unemployment, and 23% identified medical or health costs.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors Hunger and Homelessness Survey is available at: http://bit.ly/2hpen1a