Homelessness Counts: Changes in Homelessness from 2005 to 2007

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Report | January 12, 2009

Files: Full Report (PDF | 693 KB | 44 pages) Supplemental: Appendix C - Homelessness by Subpopulation by Community (XLS | 113 KB) Supplemental: Appendix B - Homelessness among Subpopulations by State (XLS | 25 KB) Supplemental: Homelessness Looms as Potential Outcome of Recession (PDF | 28 KB | 6 pages)

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In 2007, the National Alliance to End Homelessness released Homelessness Counts, establishing a 2005 baseline for measuring progress in the fight to end homelessness. This report is a follow up to that report. Here, we analyze the changes from 2005 to 2007, looking more closely at changes at the state level and among subpopulations. Features of this report include:

  • Comprehensive reporting in maps and tables of changes in chronic, family, unsheltered, and total homelessness at the national, state and community (CoC) level.
  • Identification of the states and communities with the highest and lowest levels of homelessness (by subpopulation) and the largest changes in homelessness.

  • An interactive, online map that features state profiles of homelessness characteristics, changes in homelessness from 2005 to 2007, and the economic indicators (unemployment, poverty, housing affordability) most closely associated with homelessness. Click here to access the interactive map.
  • Discussions of counting methodologies, data limitations, and other important topics.

The report goes beyond HUD’s Third Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), published in July, 2008, by reporting on chronic, family, and other subpopulations at the state and community level (AHAR reports on these subpopulations at the national level only); by using a consistent January 2005 baseline for all comparisons (AHAR uses 2006 data for some communities and 2005 for others); and by offering a more comprehensive discussion of the 2005 and 2007 point-in-time count data.

Important findings include:

  • The largest national decreases in homelessness were among unsheltered persons in families (30%) and chronically homeless adults (28%). Decreases were also reported in total (10%), overall family (18%), unsheltered (13%) and sheltered (4%) homelessness.
  • Homeless persons in families, in 2007, represent 37% of the homeless population (down from 41% in 2005); chronically homeless persons represent 18% of the homeless population (down from 23% in 2005); the unsheltered homeless make up 42% of the homeless population (down from 44% in 2005).
  • The focus in local Ten Year Plans to End Homelessness on chronic and family homelessness and increases in supportive housing targeted to chronically homeless individuals suggest that targeted local efforts account for the large decreases in family and chronic homelessness.