Assessing the Path Ahead for Our Efforts to End Chronic Homelessness

According to the latest point-in-time data from communities across the country, long-term homelessness among people with disabilities was reduced by 27% since 2010 and by 7% between 2015 and 2016 alone. That means 3,759 fewer people with disabilities experiencing chronic homelessness were on the street and 1,925 fewer were in shelters across America. Looking at this data more closely, it is worth noting:

  • In smaller cities, counties, and regional Continuums of Care, between 2015 and 2016 overall chronic homelessness was reduced by an even greater 13%, and unsheltered chronic homelessness by 18%. That progress is noteworthy.
  • Some major cities experienced an increase in the number of people with disabilities experiencing chronic homelessness between 2015 and 2016, leading to a 2% increase across major city Continuums of Care.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of people counted as experiencing chronic homelessness, or 52,890 people, were staying in unsheltered locations, such as under bridges, in cars, or in abandoned buildings. This is much higher than the unsheltered rate of 32% for all people experiencing homelessness in the United States, indicating that we’re leaving a disproportionate number of vulnerable people unsheltered and unserved.  

As we look ahead to the new year, we should reflect on the progress we have made in ending chronic homelessness, the strategies that got us there, and the urgent work we still have left to do to provide housing and support to this vulnerable population.

Read Ending Chronic Homelessness: Our Progress, Essential Strategies, and the Work Ahead

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