HUD released The 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress this past week. A total of 549,928 individuals were homeless on a single night in January 2016, representing a 3% decline in homelessness from January 2015 and a 15% decline from 2007. The report is based on the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count.
Fifty-six percent of the homeless individuals counted were staying in sheltered locations, such as emergency shelters, transitional housing, or safe havens. Forty-four percent were unsheltered, living in places not meant for human habitation, such as streets, parks, vehicles, or abandoned buildings. Thirty-five percent (194,716) of the homeless population in January 2016 were in families with children. The average homeless family household consisted of 3 people. Ninety percent of homeless people in families were sheltered and 10% were unsheltered. The number of homeless people in families with children declined by 6% from January 2015 and by 17% from January 2007.
Thirty-one percent (170,820) of the homeless population were youths under the age of 25, 21% of whom were not accompanied by a parent or guardian and were not a parent sleeping in the same place as their children. Fifty-four percent of unaccompanied homeless youth were sheltered and 46% were unsheltered. There were 9,892 homeless parenting youths under the age of 25, 5% of whom were unsheltered.
More than 9% of homeless adults were veterans, representing 39,471 homeless people. Sixty-seven percent of homeless veterans were sheltered and 33% were unsheltered. Most homeless veterans were experiencing homelessness as individuals rather than as members of families with children. Veteran homelessness declined by 17% between 2015 and 2016, with an overall decline of 46% since 2009.
More than half of the homeless population was concentrated in five states: California (28%), New York (10%), Florida (7%), Texas (5%), and Washington (4%). Between 2015 and 2016, 13 states and the District of Columbia experienced an increase in their homeless population, while homelessness declined in the 37 other states. The largest absolute increases were observed in California, Washington, the District of Columbia, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Florida, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Nevada saw the largest absolute decreases. From 2007 to 2016, the homeless population increased in 16 states and the District of Columbia and declined in 27 states.
The AHAR summarizes estimates of homelessness at the national, state, and Continuum of Care (CoC) levels based on data from the annual PIT counts of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. Continuums of Care are local planning bodies responsible for coordinating homelessness services. The PIT counts, conducted by local volunteers, are a “snapshot” of homelessness.
The 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress is available at: http://bit.ly/2g0itdv