The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) this week released its "2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress."
Despite a troubled economy, the report shows homelessness up less than 1 percent from 2009 to 2010 — from 404,957 to 407,966. According to the report, more than 1.59 million people spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program during 2010. That's a 2.2 percent increase from the previous year.
From 2009 to '10, chronic homelessness decreased by 1 percent from 110,917 to 109,920 people. This number is down 11 percent since 2007. HUD attributes some of the decline to the 34 percent increase in permanent supportive housing (PSH) from 2007 to 2010. Almost 295,000 people used PSH during the reporting period.
From 2009 to '10, the number of homeless families increased by 1.2 percent. From 2007 to 2010, the number of homeless families increased by 20 percent. The report states “families currently represent a much larger share of the total sheltered population than ever before ... with the majority of homeless families consisting of a single mother with young children.”