With food-stamp recipients dominated by ‘working age Americans’ for the first time in history; and 1.4 million having recently dropped off the benefits rolls, we suspect, extremely sadly, that the following breakdown of homelessness in America is about to get worse. Los Angeles has by far the greatest number of unsheltered homeless in America and New York City the largest population – at around 65,000 – of homeless people in the US. One wonders at the State of the Union tomorrow…
The PIT estimates are based on counts of all sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night
Those who are identified as “unsheltered” live in places not meant for human habitation, such as streets, vehicles, parks, campgrounds, abandoned buildings, etc.
In general, the number of homeless people tracks population density, so the upper map shows homeless persons per 1,000 state population.
The top states are HI, NY, CA, and OR, though these are all less than half the per capita tally in DC.
Had I used raw counts of homeless people (without normalizing by population), CA would have had the highest value at 137,000. The next highest counts are NY (77,000) and FL (48,000).
The balance of sheltered and unsheltered is largely influenced by climate; more extreme climates found in the northern and eastern parts of the country have lower percentages of unsheltered homeless people. ND is an exception to this trend – it has approximately 2,000 homeless people, two-thirds of whom are unsheltered.