Number of US homeless people hit record level in 2023: report

WASHINGTON – The number of homeless people in the United States rose to record levels this year, according to a government report released on Friday.

More than 653,100 people were homeless across the country in January, according to a head count conducted for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. That was 70,650 more homeless people — or 12 percent — than a year earlier and the highest number since figures began being collected in 2007. African Americans make up 13 percent of the total US population but account for 37 percent of all people experiencing homelessness, the report said.

It said the largest jump in homelessness was among people who identify as Hispanic, increasing by 28 percent, or 39,106 people, between 2022 and 2023. The number of families with children experiencing homelessness also rose by 16 percent, reversing what had been a downward trend since 2012, the report said.

Of the more 653,100 people counted as homeless in January, six out of 10 were in shelters or other temporary accomodations while four out of 10 were “in places not meant for human habitation,” it said. California has the largest homeless population — 181,399 — according to the report, followed by New York (103,200), Florida (30,756), Washington state (28,036), Texas (27,377) and Oregon (20,142). The homelessness crisis in the United States is fueled by a number of factors, according to experts, including poverty, mental health, addiction and housing shortages.

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