FAQS on Homelessness

  • From 2011 to 2012, the nation's homeless population decreased by .04 percent or by about 2,235 people.  At a point of time in January 2012, 633,782 people were experiencing homelessness. 
  • The largest decreases were 6.8 percent among individuals identified as chronically homeless and 7.2 percent among veterans.
  • The national rate of homelessness was 20 homeless people per 10,000 people in the general population.  The rate for veterans was 29 homeless veterans per 10,000 veterans in the homeless population.
  • A majority of people identified as homeless were staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing, but 38 percent were not sheltered,living on the streets, or in cars, abandoned buildings, or other places not intended to human habitation.
  • There was no change in the number of homeless family households, however, the size of the average homeless family grew so the overall number of people in homeless families increased 1.4 percent.
  • While the overall homeless population decreased between 2011 and 2012, 28 states and the District of Columbia saw increases.
  • Chronic homelessness is defined as homelessness among people who have a disability - including serious mental illness, chronic substance use disorders, or chronic medical issues - and who are homeless repeatedly or for long period of time.  Overall, the chronic homeless population decreased by 7 percent between 2011 and 2012.
  • For more information, click here. 

 *Statistics provided by National Alliance to End Homelessness and the Homelessness Research Institute's The State of Homelessness in America 2013 report.  

FAQS About Homeless Children

Homelessness and its Effects on Children

"Children born to homelessness are more likely to have low birth weights...Toddlers begin to demonstrate significant developmental delays after 18 months of age."

 "Homeless preschool age children also are more likely to experience major developmental delays and to suffer from emotional problems."

"The impact of homelessness begins well before a child is born.  The overwhelming majority of homeless parents are single women, many of whom were homeless themselves as children.  Homeless women face obstacles to healthy pregnancies, such as chemical abuse, chronic and acute health problems and lack of prenatal care."

Family Housing Fund December 1999.






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