2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report: Key Findings

by Meghan Henry


Each year, communities across the country conduct point-in-time counts of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. These data are reported by communities to HUD, and released in an annual report mandated by Congress. The Center for Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness presents a few key takeaways from the report, along with population-specific infographics.

Key Findings:

  • The number of people experiencing homelessness increased by 3% over the past year. This increase was driven by increases in the number of people staying in unsheltered locations (9%). More specifically, the overall increase was driven by increases in unsheltered individuals (10%).
  • Major cities account for more than half of the homeless population, and trends in those places often drive the national trends. However, increases over the past year were shared by cities, suburbs, and rural locations.
  • People of color — specifically, African Americans and Native Americans — remain considerably over-represented in the homeless population, even when comparing to the poverty population. These racial disparities have only gotten worse in recent years.
  • The number of homeless veterans has been cut in half since 2009. However, recent declines were driven by declines in white, male veterans. Women and Latinx veterans increased, and the number of African American veterans remained flat.
  • The number of people with chronic patterns of homelessness increased by 9% in the last year, but is still considerably lower than the number in 2007. Recent increases were shared by those staying in sheltered locations (increasing by 15%) and unsheltered locations (increasing by 5%).


The report is available here.