Homelessness in America: Media Handbook


National Alliance to End Homelessness

Toolkits | January 9, 2007

Files: PDF | 1.01 MB | 28 pages

Because homelessness is complex, it is often difficult for the media to cover the issue with the background and nuance necessary to capture the full picture, particularly for stories that are time sensitive.

This guide aims to streamline this process by providing context and reliable sources for reporters to access quickly. The goal of this guide is to stimulate thoughtful and insightful reporting on a population that is often poorly understood. While typical stories on homelessness often involve local panhandling ordinances or deaths of homeless people caused by extreme weather — valued coverage that brings attention to the issue — these stories can be developed further into examinations of what strategies are effective in ending homelessness, how communities can better address the needs of their homeless population, or how future homelessness can be prevented. This guide presents homelessness issues by population:

  • Homelessness by the numbers
  • Family homelessness
  • Homeless adults
  • Rural homelessness
  • Youth homelessness
  • Veterans
  • Prisoner reentry
  • Domestic violence
  • Mental and physical health and substance abuse
  • Frequently asked questions

For each of these topics, there is a an overview of basic facts on the topic, like this: