Overview provided by National Alliance to End Homelessness
For more than two decades, communities have struggled with the complex problem of homelessness, a seemingly intractable issue in cities and small towns across America. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), approximately 634,000 people in the United States were homeless on one night in early 2012. Most people were in shelters, but over 243,000 were unsheltered, living in parks, abandoned buildings with no heat or running water, the back seats of cars, or in other places not intended for human habitation. Of those who are homeless:
However, these point-in-time estimates only take a snapshot of the homelessness problem. The reality is that people move in and out of homelessness and that many more people experience homelessness over the course of the year. Annual estimates find that between 2.3 and 3.5 million people, nearly 1 to 2 percent of the total population, are homeless every year.
The current economic situation presents a new and daunting challenge. Persistent unemployment has historically been associated with rising homelessness, particularly for families with children. Reports from around the country indicate that in some places individual homelessness has decreased, but family homelessness has increased in the past twelve months. Even in the face of these challenges, however, progress over the last decade has created the tools needed to combat the growth of homelessness and transform the way communities address homelessness.
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The following research has been carefully selected to give foundations a deeper understanding of the topic of homelessness. Studies are selected from the leading experts on the cause, and data and fact sheets are added to supplement the reader’s ability to understand the background and context of this cause.
Below are the latest and some of the more in-depth news reports and leading blogs about homelessness. In the future, private foundation clients will be able to comment and add to these stories, as well as engage with some of the authors and experts to discuss the news and funding trends around this particular cause.
Below is a list of advocacy and funding networks working to address homelessness, as well as some of the leading funders that are achieving significant social impact in their giving efforts.
The following is a range of learning resources, tools for advocacy and action, inspiring talks and documentaries, and other ways to get involved in philanthropy and social change to address homelessness.