My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Gimme Shelter: Counting America’s Homeless Population

In all of the debates surrounding the 2010 Census, one population group as been largely ignored, even by the ultra-liberals: The Homeless. Since these numbers are so difficult to track, estimates vary greatly, but there are most likely between 700,000 and 2,000,000 homeless people in America. With the slumping economy, evictions on the rise, and shelters becoming filled to capacity, tracking this significant number of people is necessary for federal dollars to be be allocated properly.

In the first nationwide assessment of the number of homeless people in over a decade, the Homelessness Research Institute of the National Alliance to End Homelessness found that in January 2005 there were 744,313 people homeless on a single night. Other figures in the report:

• 56 percent of homeless people counted were living in shelters and transitional housing and shockingly, 44 percent were unsheltered.

• 59 percent of homeless people counted were single adults and 41 percent were people living in families.

• 23 percent of homeless people were reported as chronically homeless, meaning they were disabled and had been homeless for long periods of time or repeatedly.

• Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington were the states with the highest ratio of homeless people per capita.