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  • Writer's pictureJim Strawn

Homelessness in America and West Virginia

From: End Homelessness

A total of 552,830 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2018. This number represents 17 out of every 10,000 people in the United States. HUD’s Annual Point-in-Time Count, the only nation-wide survey of homeless people, provides this data and other useful statistics.

Most people experiencing homelessness are individuals (67 percent). The remainder (33 percent) are people in families with children. Public policy has put a focus on additional subpopulations.

One of the subpopulations is youth who are under the age of 25 and living on their own (without parents or children). This group is 7 percent of the total homeless population. In recent years, coordinated efforts at all levels of government have also targeted veterans (7 percent of the total homeless population) and chronically homeless people (18 percent). This last group consists of people with disabilities who have been homeless for an extended period of time or repeatedly. 

Gender and racial demographics are an important part of the American homelessness story. The homeless population is largely male. Among individual adults, 70 percent are men. White Americans are the largest racial grouping, accounting for 49 percent of those experiencing homelessness. However, African Americans and American Indians are dramatically overrepresented in the Point-in-Time Count compared to their numbers in the general population.

In the state of WV, 1243 people are homeless on a given night. That is 7 homeless per 10,000 people in the general population.

Click here for more information on WV.

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