Report: Black Families Make Up Half Of The Homeless Population In The U.S

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Homeless Camp in the K Street Tunnel is Cleared Out

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

A new report shows that black families are experiencing homelessness at a much higher rate than any other race. According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, black families make up half of the homeless population in the United States.

“African Americans have remained considerably over-represented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population,” the report reads. “African Americans accounted for 40 percent of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 and 52 percent of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children.”

These numbers are alarming considering that black people only make up 13 percent of the population in the United States.

The study also indicates that 55 percent of black families are in shelters. While black families account for 52 percent of the homeless, white families make up 35 percent of the homeless population and 34 percent of the sheltered families. Hispanics families are experiencing homelessness at 29 percent but most of them are living in a shelter according to this report. Ninety-four percent of homeless Hispanic families are reportedly living in a shelter.

Homelessness decreased for both white and black families between 2018 and 2019, but more so for white families. The study reports that for white families, “there were 8,239 fewer white people in families
experiencing homelessness overall (or 12%), 5,975 fewer people in sheltered locations (10%), and 2,264 fewer unsheltered white people in families with children (a 24% drop).”

“African Americans in families with children experiencing homelessness declined by 1,724 people overall (2%), by 1,464 in sheltered locations (2%), and the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in black families declined by 260 people (8%).”

Homelessness in the Hispanic/Latino population decreased by six percent between 2018 and 2019.

The states with the highest percentages of chronically homeless people include California (83.5 percent), Oregon (79.7 percent), Florida (71.9 percent) and Mississippi (70.4 percent). Washington state saw the largest increase in chronically homeless individuals since 2007.

“The largest absolute increase occurred in Washington, with 1,843 more chronically homeless individuals in 2019 than in 2007.”


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