I am encouraged that so many people want to know about homelessness. I am saddened that I have very little concrete information to report. I have seen many people Google search “Homeless Facts.” And so I have too. What I find are many websites reporting different, if not contradictory, information. The problem with finding the “facts” about homelessness is that homelessness is constantly changing. Although a river is a river, you can never step into the same river twice. The same can be said of homelessness. Different people, different conditions, different public responses, all have an effect on the make up of homelessness. So often when searching news reports on homelessness I can find on the very same day a report in one city of a new homeless shelter being opened in response to the growing homeless population, and a report in another city of a homeless shelter being shut down in response to the growing homeless population. Shelter Closing, Shelter Opening.
Despite all that I know about homelessness from my many years experience, there are only a few things I can say for certain. The first is that, despite people’s best efforts to end homelessness, the total number of homeless people in the United States is growing, and that there are not enough services and shelters to take care of all the homeless people and their individual needs.