Over half a million Americans are facing the prospect of being homeless this holiday season. After a period of progress and decline, the U.S. homeless population has increased slightly for the second year in succession according to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It now stands at 553,000 with 65 percent of that total living in sheltered accommodation. 17 out of every 10,000 people in the U.S. has now experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018.
Half of all homeless people are in one of five states – California (129,972), New York (91,897), Florida (31,030), Texas (25,310) and Washington (22,304). It is primarily an urban issue and more than half of the homeless population are scattered across the country’s 50 biggest cities. Nearly a quarter of them live in just to cities – New York and Los Angeles. Despite its considerable homeless population, New York can at least claim that 65 percent of its rough sleepers are given sheltered accommodation. The same cannot be said of Los Angeles where 75 percent are out on the street.
The following infographic shows the top-10 worst cities for homelessness across the U.S. with New York in first place with 78,676. It’s important to mention that in this comparison, the data is broken down by CoC – those are Continuums of Care that are local planning bodies coordinating responses to the issue. Los Angeles is in second place with nearly 50,000 while Seattle/King County comes third with 12,112.