Facts & Statistics
The Council of Mayors’ 2007 Report on Hunger and Homelessness provides startling statistics about our nation’s homeless, reaffirming that transitional housing is needed now more than ever. According to the survey of 23 metropolitan areas in the U.S.:
The most common cause of homelessness among households with children is the lack of affordable housing. Among households with children, other common causes of homelessness are poverty and domestic violence. Among single individuals, the most common causes are mental illness and substance abuse.
During the last year, members of households with children made up 23 percent of persons using emergency shelter and transitional housing programs in survey cities, while single individuals made up 76 percent. Only one percent of persons in these programs were unaccompanied youth.
Seventy-one (71) percent of responding cities reported an increase in the number of households with children accessing emergency shelter and transitional housing programs.
Forty-three (43) percent of responding cities reported an increase in the overall number of homeless persons accessing emergency shelter and transitional housing programs during the last year.
One to three percent of a city's population used a homeless shelter or transitional housing program during the last year.
Disability is more prevalent among homeless singles than among adults in households with children. Rates of disability (mental illness, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, physical and developmental disabilities) were approximately three times greater for singles than for adults in households with children.
Cities reported that for households with children, the average length of a single stay was 5.7 months in 2007, but ranged up to 18 months. For singles, the average length of a single stay was reported as 4.7 months, but ranged up to 11 months.
Cities also reported that they are not meeting the need for providing shelter for homeless persons. Fifty-two (52) percent reported that they turn people away some or all of the time.
Sixty-five (65) percent of cities predict that requests for emergency shelter will increase in 2008. All cities reported that there would be increases in requests from households with children.