By DON McINTOSH
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Dec. 15 that the number of homeless people in the United States is at its highest level since an annual count began 15 years ago. The department’s most recent annual point-in-time report estimated that 653,104 people were homeless as of January 2023 — about 1 out of every 500 U.S. residents. That number was an increase of 12% over the previous year. The figure includes 256,610 people sleeping outdoors, as well as 396,494 staying in homeless shelters.
The annual point-in-time report is an annual estimate of the number of people sleeping in shelters or outdoors on a single night in January. It’s conducted by staff and volunteers in nearly 400 local or regional bodies.
The latest report also found a 17% year-over-year increase in the number of families with children in shelters: about 25,000 people total, and a 7% increase in the number of homeless veterans, to 35,574.