Category: Uncategorized

We’re Demystifying Data on Homelessness

How many homeless children are in there in America? This may seem like a simple question to answer. I bet some of you are thinking, “Just look at point-in-time count data,” while others are musing, “That can be answered from annual shelter counts.” Others, still, may be thinking, “The number can be found in a report from the Department of Education.” With so many data sources to choose from, this question isn’t as straightforward as you might assume.

Every time we at the Alliance rely on data, we have to decide which data source will give us the best approximation of the figure we seek. This involves a high level of knowledge and understanding about how each of these data sources collects and compiles numbers. For example, we used five different data sources in our most recent report, The State of Homelessness in America 2015, because no single source captured all the information we needed.

A Letter from a Former Rapid Re-Housing Skeptic

Over the past year, I have spent a lot of time conducting Rapid Re-Housing Clinics for communities across the county. Rapid re-housing is an intervention that provides temporary financial assistance and services to homeless people to return them to permanent housing quickly. Many communities around the country are already using it to house people. But it’s a relatively new idea.

At the clinics I conduct, which are designed to help communities implement their own effective rapid re-housing programs, it’s not uncommon for people who are new to the idea of rapid re-housing to view it with some skepticism. It makes sense. They have been doing things one way for years, and now they’re being asked to change. Who wouldn’t question the wisdom of that?

The State of Homelessness in America 2015: Trends in Veteran Homelessness

Sadly, if you have served in the military, you’re more at risk of experiencing homelessness. Why?

A variety of factors are at play, so there is no one fast and easy answer for why veterans experience consistently greater rates of homelessness than the general population. But one major factor is combat-related disabilities like traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which are among the most significant risk factors for homelessness.

The State of Homelessness in America 2015: Looking at the Big Picture

If you’re a leader of a Continuum of Care (CoC), you likely know how many people are homeless and how many beds for homeless people there are in your community. If you’re a homelessness service provider, I bet you have a pretty good idea of how many people you serve in your program, and how these numbers have changed over the past few years. And if you’re a concerned citizen, I’m sure you are aware when you see an unsheltered homeless person sleeping on the street or in the park.

Each of these experiences is a small part of the larger picture of homelessness in a state and in America. So when we add it all up, what trends do we see?

Just Released: The State of Homelessness in America 2015

Overall homelessness in America has declined, but millions remain at risk of falling into homelessness in the future, according to The State of Homelessness in America 2015, the fifth in a series of annual reports on the nation’s progress on homelessness by the Alliance’s Homelessness Research Institute.

The report, which we released today, examines national and state trends in the homeless populations and the number of beds available to assist them. It shows that, during a period of economic growth for the nation when unemployment decreased in nearly every state, the rate of homelessness fell by 2.3 percent, but the number of people at risk of homelessness remained at post-recession levels.

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