Key findings from the 2022 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress:

On a single night in 2022, roughly 582,500 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. Six in ten (60%) were staying in sheltered locations—emergency shelters, safe havens, or transitional housing programs—and four in ten (40%) were in unsheltered locations such as on the street, in abandoned buildings, or in other places not suitable for human habitation.

There continues to be an overrepresentation of people who identify as Black, African American, or African, as well as indigenous people (including Native Americans and Pacific Islanders) among the population experiencing homelessness compared to the U.S. population. People who identify as Black made up just 12 percent of the total U.S. population but comprised 37 percent of all people experiencing homelessness and 50 percent of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children.

Homelessness slightly increased nationwide. Between 2020 and 2022, the overall number of people experiencing homelessness increased by less than one percent (1,996 people). This increase reflects a three percent increase in people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, which was offset by a two percent decline in people staying in sheltered locations. However, between 2021 and 2022, sheltered homelessness increased by seven percent, or 22,504 people. A possible cause for the increase in sheltered homelessness is the easing of pandemic-related restrictions some emergency shelter providers had in place during the 2021 PIT count. These restrictions included reducing shelter capacity to allow for more space between people sleeping in congregate settings to reduce their risk of exposure. Additionally, the national inventory of shelter beds increased between 2021 and 2022, likely reflecting an infusion of pandemic-related funding that supported additional non-congregate shelter beds.

The number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 11 percent (4,123 fewer people) between 2020 and 2022. In 2022, 40,238 fewer veterans were experiencing homelessness than in 2009, when these data were first reported, a drop of nearly 55 percent.

Six of every 10 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness did so in an urban area (60%), with more than half of all unsheltered people counted in the Continuums of Care (CoCs) that encompass the nation’s 50 largest cities (54%). The remaining four of every ten people who experienced unsheltered homelessness were almost evenly split between largely suburban areas (21%) and largely rural areas (19%).

More than two thirds of all people experiencing homelessness (72%) did so in households without children present. The number of individuals experiencing sheltered homelessness between 2021 and 2022 increased by 5 percent (10,148 people). This was the second largest year-to-year increase in sheltered homelessness among individuals since reporting began in 2007.

About three in every ten people experiencing homelessness (28%) did so as part of a family with children. The overall number of people in families with children who were experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2022 decreased by about 10,500 people since 2020, following a general trend of year-to-year declines over most of the previous several years.

On a single night in 2022, more than 30,000 people under the age of 25 experienced homelessness on their own as “unaccompanied youth.” Slightly more than half of these youth (57%) were in sheltered locations. Most (91%) were between the ages of 18 and 24. Four percent of the unaccompanied youth population reports identifying as transgender, not singularly female or male, or gender questioning, compared with one percent of all individuals experiencing homeless.

Nearly one-third (30%) of all individuals experiencing homelessness in 2022 had chronic patterns of homelessness. While there has been a steady rise in the number of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in both sheltered and unsheltered locations since 2016, sheltered homelessness among individuals with chronic patterns of homelessness doubled between 2016 and 2022.

The national inventory of beds for people currently or formerly experiencing homelessness increased by 11 percent between 2020 and 2022. The largest increases in year-round inventory in any inventory type occurred in emergency shelters (28,548 more beds), rapid re-housing (27,166 more beds), and other permanent housing (40,221 more beds). Within emergency shelter programs, the largest increase in inventory was for voucher-based beds which are often single-occupancy rooms in hotels or motels (as opposed to congregate facility-based beds), which increased by 243 percent between 2020 and 2022. This increase reflects a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which many communities made investments in non-congregate forms of shelter.

For the full report go to:  The 2022 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress from The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development OFFICE OF COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

AUTHORS: Tanya de Sousa, Alyssa Andrichik, Marissa Cuellar, Jhenelle Marson, Ed Prestera, and Katherine Rush, Abt Associates

Photo credit:  Clay LeConey