The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) late last month, indicating modest overall progress toward ending homelessness and a need to tailor future efforts to the unique needs of communities.

In 2019, the states with the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people were New York (46), Hawaii (45) and California (38), each significantly higher than the national average of 17 persons per 10,000. The District of Columbia had a homelessness rate of 94 people per 10,000, more than double the rate of New York’s homeless population.

African American and Hispanic or Latino populations continue to be considerably over represented in the homeless population compared to how they’re represented nationally. Last year, African Americans were 40 percent of all people experiencing homelessness, despite being 13 percent of the U.S. population. Hispanic or Latino people were about 22 percent of the homeless population but only 18 percent of the U.S. population. In contrast, 48 percent of all people experiencing homelessness were white though they make up 77 percent of the U.S.

Additionally, according to the 2019 AHAR, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by two percent since 2018 and has dropped by nearly 50 percent since 2009. This is partially due to the increase of affordable housing dedicated to seniors and veterans like The Parks at Walter Reed’s Abrams Hall, which Housing Up co-developed and currently serves.

Lastly, the 2019 AHAR reported the number of people experiencing homelessness in families with children declined by five percent since 2018 and by 27 percent between 2007 and 2019. In 2019, less than 172,000 people families with children were experiencing homelessness.

Though these 2019 trends reflect the work government and service organizations like Housing Up have done to reduce homelessness, there are still many low-income and homeless families in the District and beyond that need our help. Read the full 2019 AHAR report here.

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