This article is part of a series. Start here and follow the path through the guide to build a comprehensive understanding of homelessness.
Homelessness is everywhere in the United States. Learning about homelessness in your specific context will help you develop an effective plan to address the issue. Visit the homelessness map at Understanding Homeless to learn about homelessness in general and your location in particular. Read the state index on youth homelessness to learn more.
Urban homelessness tends to dominate discussions around homelessness, but rural homelessness is a real problem in the United States:
- Ending Youth Homelessness In Rural Areas
National Alliance to End Homelessness
Although people commonly think of homelessness as an urban phenomenon, data indicates that nearly 75,000 people experiencing homelessness were in Balances of State or Statewide Continuums of Care, a rough proxy for estimating the scale of homelessness in rural areas.
Housing isn’t a siloed issue, and communities where housing isn’t affordable, or even available, can suffer:
- Help Wanted Signs Dot Rural Areas, But Housing Is Hard To Come By
Harvest Public Media
The housing market works against rural towns and cities where jobs often stay open because there are too few affordable homes and apartments to buy or rent, or the ones that are affordable need lots of TLC. It’s a situation that threatens to turn low unemployment from an advantage into a liability.
Native communities struggle to find sufficient housing:
- The Main Problem With Housing In Indian Country
Physical housing problems have declined enough to be negligible across the country, but not for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) in tribal areas. In a recent study, we found that 10 percent of AIAN tribal area households had plumbing or kitchen deficiencies compared with only 3 percent for the United States on average.
Involving Native people in their own solutions is key to addressing housing gaps:
- Bringing Social Impact Architecture To Native Communities
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts interviews Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative Executive Director Joseph Kunkel on helping Native Americans get access to affordable housing and be their own architects.
Homelessness impacts cities differently, and across the country there are a wide range of approaches and challenges to addressing homelessness. Read about your area, and others like it, here:
- LA County Housing Project Unlocks A Blueprint For Systems Change
Third Sector Capital Partners
On October 3, 2017, Los Angeles County announced the launch of the County’s first Pay for Success (PFS) project: “The Just-in-Reach Supportive Housing Program.”
- Rural Areas In California See Surge In Homeless Youth
While the number of homeless young people jumped 20 percent statewide from 2014 to 2016, the number of homeless young people in many rural counties areas rose even more significantly — in some cases more than doubling, according to information collected by the California Department of Education and analyzed by EdSource.
- Housing-First Model In New Jersey Addresses Homelessness
In the Cumberland County Housing First Collaboration, a partnership that employs a highly successful model that starts with safe housing and lets everything else — including sobriety, medical treatment and employment — follow.
- Student Homelessness In New York City Districts
According to Patrick Spauster at Urban Institute, an estimated one in four students in New York City school districts experience homelessness throughout their academic career.
- New York City Will Spend $12 Million On New Supports For Homeless Students
New York City is revamping the way it supports homeless students, with 100 new coordinators inside schools with a high percentage of children who lack stable housing, additional training opportunities for educators, and managers who will take on a regional role in overseeing services.
- Study Warns Oregon Households Are At Risk Of Homelessness
A study from a Portland economic firm reports that 156,000 households in Oregon are on the brink of homelessness, and that policy leaders need to do more to address this issue.
- How Washington State Is Working To Battle Student Homelessness
Superintendent Chris Reykdal says his office and others throughout Washington are working to provide homeless students with the resources to graduate.
- Addressing Seattle’s Homeless Challenge [Audio]
Seattle’s political debate on the question has been maddening: city officials who propose practical solutions to remove individuals or encampments arouse fierce opposition from progressive activists.
- Community Organizations Invest In Affordable Housing Solutions For DC Residents
A coalition of community organizations announced Tuesday plans for a major effort to boost affordable housing, small business growth and job skills in Washington, D.C.
- What Data Tells Us About Homelessness Funding
New Philanthropy Capital
A team at NPC analyzed 360Giving grant data from GrantNav to learn more about current homelessness funding and needs in the UK.
- Treating Homelessness As A Systemic Problem
New Philanthropy Capital
NPC explores the root causes of homelessness, such as low pay and a lack of social housing, and urges funders to act.
Next, learn about what we can do to end homelessness.
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