Homeless Population Confusion

Counting the number of homeless people in the United States is difficult at best, and those whose job it is to count the homeless say that census efforts are inaccurate due to the nature of people having no fixed residence.   Estimates of this error are significant.    Counters believe they could be missing 25% to 50% of the total homeless population.   This is why we still have no clear idea of how many citizens are homeless.

There has been a good bit of buzz around a recent article appearing in the Atlantic.   In this article, the National Alliance for Ending Homelessness is quoted as saying the homeless population has recently been reduced by 17 percent.   It sounds like good news, but I wonder about its accuracy, given the difficulty of determining the total number of homeless to begin with.   It is true, though, that many chronically homeless people have been taken off the streets and put into housing in the past few years.  This is due to the efforts of those cities participating in HUD’s Housing First program.  Many of the most vulnerable citizens in our cities are now living in stable environments.   Still, the Housing First program has had no affect on the rest of the homeless population.   Hundreds of thousands of people are still living on the streets of America every single night.

And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but from all I’ve seen, homelessness is still on the increase.  I just checked google news and searched on the key words “homeless increase.”  There I found several articles from across the nation declaring that their homeless populations were growing, and that shelters are having a hard time meeting the increased demand.


About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless
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