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New Report on Homelessness in America Finds Continued Overall Decline

The 2015 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) Part 2 to Congress provides current information on homelessness in America and offers new insights on youth homelessness.
Abt Global, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), analyzed data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for the report. HMIS is a local information technology system that organizations use to record housing and services data for individuals in shelter.
This two-part report, produced annually by Abt and the University of Pennsylvania on behalf of HUD, provides a one-year national estimate of people in emergency shelter and transitional housing programs and people in Permanent Supportive Housing, as well as an in-depth look at their demographic characteristics, geographic distributions and service-use patterns.
In 2015, an estimated 1.48 million people experienced sheltered homelessness over the course of a year. For the first time, AHAR Part 2 includes one-year data on people ages 18-24 and 25-30 who experienced sheltered homelessness, which refers to homeless individuals who receive temporary shelter in an emergency shelter, transitional housing, or safe havens.
“AHAR is an important resource for communities and stakeholders working to prevent and end homelessness,” said Claudia Solari, Ph.D., associate at Abt and AHAR project director. “The report offers information on specific populations, such as veterans and families with children, and follows trends over time. With new data supporting policies and programs, we have data-driven insights on what is working.”
Among the study findings are:
  • 11 percent of all people experiencing sheltered homelessness in 2015 were youth aged 18 to 24;
  • The number of veterans experiencing sheltered homelessness during the course of a year dropped by 11 percent between 2009 and 2015;
  • 6.5 percent fewer people – equal to 104,000 individuals – have experienced sheltered homelessness since 2007.
  • African-Americans experience homelessness at higher rates than other racial/ethnic groups. In 2015, they comprised more than 41 percent of people experiencing sheltered homelessness, but are only 13 percent of the total U.S. population; and
  • Families with children represented about a third of all people experiencing sheltered homelessness during the one-year period in 2015. The number of families with children experiencing sheltered homelessness declined three percent between 2014 and 2015.
Part 1 of the 2015 AHAR report, published in November 2015, provides estimates of homelessness based on the Point-in-Time (PIT) count data. Communities gather the PIT count data across the United States over one night in late January. The 2016 update of AHAR Part 1 will be released in late fall.
Part 2 of the report offers a richer portrait of homelessness in America by adding one-year estimates of sheltered homelessness from HMIS.
Read the full AHAR Part 2 report.
Read the 2015 AHAR Part 1 report.
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