Half of all ‘unsheltered’ homeless people are located in one state: report
A third of the U.S.’s entire homeless population and half of all unsheltered homeless people live in California – as the state grapples with a very visible crisis, according to estimates released at the end of 2022.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Point in Time” survey, conducted in January 2022 and released at year’s end, indicated that at least 30% of all of America’s homeless population live in the Golden State, with homeless tents and encampments prevalent in some urban centers.
The survey showed that around 115,500 “unsheltered” people – half of the total roughly 233,800 “unsheltered” population – reside in California.
The Public Policy Institute of California analyzed the data and compared it to the two years prior, finding a “new snapshot of California’s homeless population.”
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Primarily, California’s homeless population increased by roughly 6% since 2020 compared to just 0.4% in the rest of the country. The biggest change occurred in the “homeless but sheltered” population, which spiked 17% in that period, while the “unsheltered” population rose by around 2%.
“The rest of the country’s unsheltered population grew faster than California’s (4%), while its sheltered population actually shrank (-2%),” the PPIC wrote in an analysis of the report. The state is home to the country’s most Continuums of Care, which organize and administer services to the homeless population, with 44 centers compared to runner-up Florida, which has only 27.
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The PPIC noted that the end of pandemic-era federal homeless programs may have played a role in the increases over 2021. The state has seen a bipartisan effort to analyze how the funds were spent.
The 2023 survey, conducted in January, will not post results for some time, making it challenging to analyze the longer impact of those factors.
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The recent report included other aspects of the problem, including a high prevalence of homeless families with children. It documented an instance in 2022 during which over 30,000 people under the age of 25 were homeless as “unaccompanied youth.”
Polling in early 2022 indicated that the homeless issue remained a top priority for voters, with many saying they wanted the state and local governments to act faster to deal with the crisis, according to The Guardian.
Many of those governments have moved to ban or place limits on homeless encampments: Los Angeles in the summer of 2022 approved a measure to ban these encampments within 500 feet of schools and day care centers.
The measure passed by an 11-3 vote after elected officials approved another measure that regulated where homeless encampments could be.
Fox News Digital’s Landon Mion contributed to this report.
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