Half of all homeless veterans are in these four states

Matt Saintsing
October 19, 2018 - 3:21 pm



The number of homeless veterans dropped considerably between 2009 and 2017, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a figure, they say, is a “testament to the impactful partnership” between the agency and the VA. 

On a single night in January last year, 40,020 veterans were experiencing homelessness. That’s about a 46 percent decline since 2009. 

The agency’s annual report on homelessness for 2017 measures homelessness by looking at the overall number of people in shelters over a full year, and by choosing a random day of the year as a “point-in-time” estimate. 

Alarming, however, is the number of vets experiencing unsheltered—meaning on the streets—homelessness increased by 2,263 between 2016 and 2017. But despite that bump, the trend of veteran homelessness is on the decline overall. 

According to the full-year estimate, 118,380 veterans used an emergency shelter at some point in 2017, about a 21 percent decline from 2009. 

And geography matters. Four states account for more than half of the nation’s homeless vets: California (28.7 percent), Florida (7.1 percent), Texas (5.5 percent) and Washington State (5.2 percent.) New York, on the other hand, had the lowest rates of homeless veterans and the lowest rate of vets among all adults, with 2.1 percent and 4.7 percent respectively. 

"We know providers in communities across the country are doing great work to drive some of the positive results we saw in 2017,” says National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) CEO Kathryn Monet. 

“NCHV will continue to use this, and other data, to equip service providers to address existing and emerging challenges among key groups of veterans facing housing instability."

While significant work has been done to decrease veteran homelessness, they’re still, sadly, overrepresented.  Despite making up just 8.7 percent of the U.S. adult population, they embody nearly 11 percent of all sheltered homeless adults. 

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