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Facts about Homelessness

Myths about Homelessness

  • Homeless people are lazy and don’t want to work.

  • Getting a job will keep someone out of homelessness.

  • Homelessness is a long-term problem. 

  • Homelessness is always related to mental illness.

  • Most homeless people are addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

  • The homeless are older and single.

  • Homelessness is only a problem in big cities.

  • Homeless people live on the streets.

  • Homelessness is going away.

  • 650,000 people in the US are homeless at any given time

  • California reported the largest increase in homelessness in the nation from 2016 to 2017 with 16,136 additional people experiencing homelessness on a given night. Total number lived unhoused in 2017 was 134,278.

  • About 25% of people who are unhoused are children.

  • Unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 total 4,800 nationally.

  • 24% of individuals and 5% of people in families meet the definition of being chronically homeless.

  • Although recent numbers indicate hope, thousands of individuals who are unhoused are veterans. A total of 57,000 of them chronically homeless.

  • Lack of affordable housing is the primary cause of homelessness.

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women.

  • Many people are homeless because they cannot afford rent.  There are fewer places for poor people to rent than before.

  • Approximately 20% of all people who are homeless suffer from untreated mental illness, much higher than 6% of the general population. 

  • People who are unhoused are often perceived as violent but are in fact victims of attacks.

  • Providing people with homes costs less than leaving them homeless.

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