Record Spike in U.S. Homeless Population

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The homeless population in the United States has experienced a significant increase, reaching its highest level ever recorded. Data from var...

Jody Golden

Jody Golden

15 August 2023 12:54 pm

Record Spike in U.S. Homeless Population

The Homeless Crisis in the United States

The homeless population in the United States has experienced a significant increase, reaching its highest level ever recorded. Data from various sources reveals that the number of homeless individuals in the country has risen by approximately 11% this year, marking the largest surge in over 15 years. This alarming trend highlights the ongoing struggle to effectively address the homelessness crisis in the United States.

Increasing Homelessness Numbers

According to The Journal, there has been a significant increase in the number of homeless people in the United States. Data from over 300 organizations that track the homeless population reveals that there are more than 577,000 homeless individuals this year. This marks the second highest increase in homelessness, with a 2.7% jump in 2019 being the highest prior to this. The report does not include data from the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rising Housing Costs

The rising cost of housing is a major factor contributing to the homeless crisis. This issue has become more urgent as COVID relief measures have ended and eviction moratoriums have been lifted. Advocates are highlighting the connection between increasing housing costs and the growing number of people experiencing homelessness.

According to Donald Whitehead Jr., the executive director at the National Coalition for the Homeless, the Covid-relief funds provided some relief for Americans struggling with housing costs. However, without these resources, the impact of rising rent prices has become evident. Rent prices have spiked since the pandemic, with the national median rent price currently at $2,029, making it unaffordable for many Americans. The prices have risen by over 15% nationwide since the start of the pandemic.

Drug Addiction Crisis

The drug addiction crisis in the United States is contributing to the issue of homelessness. In 2022, a record number of 109,680 people died from drug overdoses, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This statistic highlights the severity of the drug addiction problem in the country and its impact on individuals' lives, including their housing situations.

Overdose deaths in Washington and Wyoming have seen a significant increase of 22% in the past year. This rise in overdose deaths highlights the ongoing issue of drug abuse and addiction in these states. Additionally, homelessness has become a major problem in certain areas, particularly in major cities on both the East and West coasts. These cities have been grappling with a surge in the number of people living on the streets for several months. The combination of rising overdose deaths and the homelessness crisis has brought attention to the need for effective solutions to address these pressing issues.

Homelessness in Major Cities

Homelessness in San Francisco and Los Angeles has worsened since before the pandemic. In San Francisco, the number of homeless individuals has increased by 35% since 2019, with approximately 38,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. Similarly, Los Angeles County has seen a 9% increase in homelessness, with the number rising to about 75,518 people this year compared to 69,144 in 2022. These statistics highlight the growing homeless crisis in both cities.

The homeless population in New Orleans has increased by nearly 15%. In New York City, the homeless crisis is worsened by the arrival of over 90,000 illegal migrants since April of last year. Currently, around 55,000 migrants are being housed by the city, leading to overcrowding in homeless shelters. As a result, New York City is now sheltering a record-breaking 105,800 people.

Crime Rates and Frustration

Crime rates have been on the rise in several cities due to the homeless issue. Cities like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, and Philadelphia have seen an increase in open-air drug markets and violent crimes committed by homeless individuals. This has led to frustration among residents and businesses, causing some to leave affected neighborhoods.

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