We wanted to let you know that HUD recently released its Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), which provides estimates of homelessness, demographic breakdowns, service use patterns, and other important information. While this information is some of the only national data available on homelessness, it should be noted that all of the information encompassed in the report is based on the Point-in-Time (PIT) count, which has a number of methodological and practical limitations, and is unlikely to offer a comprehensive or complete analysis of the full scope of homelessness in the nation. Additionally, citing COVID-19 barriers, 40% of communities – including almost all of California – did not conduct full counts of unsheltered homelessness in 2021. Of the 20 communities with the highest levels of unsheltered homelessness in 2020, only one completed a full count of unsheltered homelessness in 2021.
Key Findings from the AHAR include:
- On a single night in 2021, more than 326,000 people experienced sheltered homelessness. Of those, 60% were individuals and 40% were people in families with children.
- The share of emergency shelter beds for people experiencing sheltered homelessness located in non-congregate settings increased by 134% between 2020 and 2021.
- The number of sheltered veterans decreased by 10% between 2020 and 2021.
- On a single night in 2021, 15,763 people under the age of 25 experienced sheltered homelessness.
- The number of unaccompanied transgender youth experiencing sheltered homelessness increased by 29 percent between 2020 and 2021.
- The number of unaccompanied gender non-conforming youth experiencing sheltered homelessness increased by 26% between 2020 and 2021.
- The number of unaccompanied Native American youth experiencing sheltered homelessness increased by 21% between 2020 and 2021.
- The number of sheltered individuals identified as “chronically homeless” (HUD defines this as an individual with a disability who has been continuously unhoused for one year or more, or who has experienced at least 4 episodes of homelessness in the last three years where the combined length of time unhoused is at least 12 months) increased by 20% between 2020 and 2021.