Who Are the Homeless?
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are currently 633,782 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. Of that number, 239,403 are people in families, and 394,379 are individuals.
And, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, research indicates that families, single mothers, and children make up the largest group of people who are homeless in rural areas.
Families with children make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the homeless population. In its 2007 survey of 23 American cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that families with children comprised 23 percent of the homeless. These proportions are likely to be higher in rural areas.
And, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, in 2004, children under the age of 18 accounted for 39 percent of the homeless population, and 42 percent of these children were under the age of five.
Slightly fewer than 16 percent of the homeless population are considered "chronically homeless,” although it’s a common misconception that this group represents the majority of the homelessness population. About 13 percent of homeless adults — 62,619 — are veterans.