About Homelessness

National Facts on Homelessness*

Facts on Homelessness

The State of Homelessness in America 2016 is the sixth in a series of reports charting progress in ending homelessness in the United States. It examines trends in homelessness, populations at risk of homelessness, and homelessness assistance in America.


On a single night in January 2015, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness — meaning they were sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.

  • In total, 33 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) reported decreases in overall homelessness, while 16 states reported increases. The states with decreases in homelessness were concentrated in the South and Midwest.
  • Despite a national decrease in unsheltered homelessness, only 18 states reported decreases in the number of people living in unsheltered locations, including the street, cars, and abandoned buildings. The national decrease in unsheltered homelessness was driven in large part by decreases in unsheltered homelessness in Florida, Texas, and Georgia.
  • The national rate of homelessness in 2015 fell to 17.7 homeless people per 10,000 people in the general population from 18.3 in 2014. The rates in individual states ranged from 111 in D.C. to 7 in Mississippi.
  • The rate of veteran homelessness continued its descent of the past several years to 24.8 homeless veterans per 10,000 veterans in the general population. The rates in individual states ranged from 145 in D.C. to 9 in Virginia.
  • The majority of states had decreases in every major subpopulation: family homelessness (33 states and D.C.), chronically homeless individuals (31 states and D.C.), and veteran homelessness (33 states). 

Click here to view the report.

Washington, DC, Area Facts on Homelessness**

As shown, between the 2015 and 2016 counts there was a reduction among single persons counted (‐3.6 percent), though there was an increase in the number of families counted from year to year (+31.8 percent).2016 table

For more information, click here.

Read Central Union Mission's response to the release of this report here.

*Statistics provided by the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the Homelessness Research Institute's The State of Homelessness in America 2016 report.

**Information for Washington, DC Area section provided by Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Community Partnership to Prevent Homelessness.