HUD released its 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress. The report certified last month by HUD Secretary Ben Carson found that 567,715 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2019, an increase of 14,885 people since 2018. Meanwhile, homelessness among veterans and families with children continued to fall, declining 2.1 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, in 2019.
HUD’s national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation. Every year on a single night in January, planning agencies called Continuums of Care (CoCs), along with tens of thousands of volunteers, seek to identify the number of individuals and families living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, and in unsheltered settings. These one-night ‘snapshot’ counts, as well as full-year counts and data from other sources (U.S. Housing Survey, Department of Education), are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measuring progress toward reducing it.