Homeless: The Dilemma

Consider the following experiences:


not having a roof over your head or a warm place to lay your head.


not having a place to store your belongings or family keepsakes.


judging eyes upon you constantly, making assumptions about you.


serving your country, then coming home to nothing with no answers why.

People are living this life everyday.

In fact, over 65 million people in our world live like this. We are called for a higher purpose than this; we can help. When you scan these statistics, doesn’t your heart go out to these people?
We need to do something about this.

In the United States:


Number of chronically homeless people

#1 reason:

Scarcity of affordable housing is the top reason for homelessness.


People who were homeless on a given night in January 2015. About 8% of them are veterans (47,725)


Homeless people that were in families in January 2015. About 2% of of them are considered "chronically homeless" (13,105)


Individual homeless people on a given night in January 2015. About 15% are considered "chronically homeless".



Number of homeless people


Number of people lacking adequate housing

Top states homeless populations (U.S.)

Washington, DC:  1,133/100,000 people
Hawaii:  465/100,000
New York:  399/100,000
California:  367/100,000

Subsets of homeless

  • 22% (120,819) children under 18
  • 9% (50,001) between 18 and 24
  • 69% (379,108) 25 years or older
  • 50% over 50
Gender (2009)
  • Most sheltered homeless are men
  • 71% of sheltered individuals are adult men
  • 25% of sheltered individuals are adult women
  • 79.6% of adults in families w/ children were women

U.S. Cities with the most homeless people

CoCs with the largest numbers of people experiencing homelessness in 2016*

New York City 73,523
Los Angeles City & County 43,853
Seattle/King County 10,730
San Diego & County 8,669
District of Columbia 8,350
San Francisco 6,996
San Jose/Santa Clara City & County 6,524
Boston 6,240
Las Vegas/Clark County 6,208
Philadelphia 6,112

*CoC - Continuums of Care are local planning bodies who coordinate homelessness services in certain areas.
Source: US Dept of Housing and Urban Development

Our Shelter System:

Find out more about our solution for helping the homeless.

Veterans (U.S.)

  • 50,000 homeless vets
  • 8.6% of total homeless population
  • 91% male
  • 98% single
  • 76% live in a city
  • 54% have mental and/or physical disabilities

As troops return from operations, the face of veteran homelessness has changed: they are increasingly younger, female, and heads of households. Even so, they are still most likely to be males ages 51–61 (43%) and to have served in the Vietnam War. In the next 10–15 years, it is projected that homeless veterans age 55+ could increase drastically.


  • 41% of total homeless population are families
  • One of the fastest growing segments:  families with children
  • In 2007, 23% were members of families with children (US Conference of Mayors, 2007).
  • The rate of requests for emergency assistance by families rose faster than any group 2006–2007. In some cities, it rose by as much as 15%. 71% of cities surveyed reported an increase in the number of families with children seeking emergency assistance.


  • 41% are non-Hispanic whites (compared to 76% of the general population)
  • 40% are African Americans (compared to 11% of the general population)
  • 11% are Hispanic (compared to 9% of the general population)
  • 8% are Native American (compared to 1% of the general population)

Like the total U.S. population, though, the ethnic makeup of homeless populations varies according to geographic location. For example,people experiencing homelessness in rural areas are more likely to be white, female, married, currently working, homeless for the first time, and homeless for a shorter period of time (Fisher, 2005); homelessness among Native Americans and migrant workers is also largely a rural phenomenon.

Our Shelter System:

Find out more about our solution for helping the homeless.

At Compassion Shelters we believe that we have a solution for this problem. It starts with giving people a place to start over and get their feet back under them. Further it starts with you.

Join our Solution! Make this your Passion!