The State of Homelessness: 2020 Edition adds new features that help providers, communities, and the press better understand the nature of homelessness and service systems going into the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.

Health Crisis Predictions. The report offers information on subpopulations particularly at-risk of becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19: older adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions. This research predicts just how many people experiencing homelessness will become sick, and the number of beds and resources necessary to keep as many people healthy as possible.

Detailed State- and CoC-Level Resource Pages. The Alliance expanded its state- and CoC-level resource pages. The resource pages indicate clear progress made in reducing homelessness over time; it also provides demographic data by race, ethnicity, and gender. And the report places a new spotlight on system capacity to offer emergency shelter to people experiencing homelessness on a given night.

Increasing Focus on Individuals. The updated version of the State of Homelessness emphasizes the challenges of individual adults. A majority of the overall homeless population, individual adults have only realized a 0.2 percent reduction in homelessness over the last decade, even as family homeless counts dropped by 29 percent and veterans dropped by 50 percent. Systems are only able to offer emergency shelter beds to 1 in 2 individuals, leaving far too many living unsheltered.

Expanded Emphasis on Rates of Homelessness. The Alliance broadened its analysis of rates of homelessness, or the number of people experiencing homelessness in relation to the general population—for example, 17 out of every 10,000 people in America experience homelessness. This approach offers more significant insights into disparities and progress. New rate information appears on the state and CoC resource pages, allowing for enhanced comparisons between and among jurisdictions. And it is newly tied to demographics, demonstrating that certain racial and ethnic groups are far more likely to be homeless than others.

State- and CoC-Level Rankings. Finally, the Alliance lists all states and CoCs according to their homeless counts and rates of homelessness. This approach offers greater context about each region, helping providers and residents to determine if their challenges are far more (or far less) severe than those existing in other parts of the country. It also helps to identify regions in need of more considerable resources and attention.

Read more about the state of homelessness at the National Alliance to End Homelessness.