Giving Compass’ Take:
• The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) showed a 2.7 increase in homelessness over 2018, spurring more urgency in addressing this crisis.
• What are the underlying reasons for this increase? How can donors significantly contribute to reducing homelessness?
• Learn more about ending homelessness and understand more about this issue.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress reveals that an estimated 567,715 people were identified homeless on a single night in 2019. This represents a 2.7 percent increase over 2018.
The increases during this period were particularly striking among the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. This population rose by 8.7%, including increases of 15% among unsheltered women, and 43% among people who identify as transgender. Other populations that increased included the total number of people experiencing chronic homelessness (+9%), and those who experience homelessness as individual adults (+6.3%).
The report reflects deep and persistent racial inequities among the people who experience homelessness: African Americans accounted for 40% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019, despite being 13% of the U.S. population.
Despite the increases, three noteworthy populations experienced year-on-year declines during this period, including people in families (-5%), youth under 18 (-4%), and veterans (-2.1%).
The report shows that homelessness overall declined in more states (29 and the District of Columbia) than it increased in (21 states).
“This year’s report is as an urgent call to action to federal, state, and local leaders,” said Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “We know how to end homelessness. Family homelessness has declined every year since 2012. And veteran homelessness went down eight of the past nine years. Now is not the time to abandon the practices that drove those results. Now is the time to get serious about funding them to scale.”
Roman attributes that success to alignment from the federal government, the homeless services sector, and philanthropy around evidence-based best practices for ending homelessness, and specifically to the adoption of Housing First principles. These approaches prioritize getting people into stable housing as quickly as possible, and connecting them to needed services to address health, substance use, child care, employment or other needs.
Read the full article about increase in homelessness at the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
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