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The faces of homelessness today

The faces of homelessness today


The Faces of Homelessness Today

There are three categories of people in the U.S. at risk of becoming homeless: those over 50, veterans and LGBTQ youth. Let’s take a look a closer look at these groups and the hardships they face.

Homelessness at a Glance


Number of homeless people in the U.S. (2)


Percentage of homeless population considered “chronically homeless” (2)


Members of homeless families in the U.S. (2)

California’s homeless percentage, 20%, is the highest in the country.(1)

High-Risk Populations

Age 50+

Homeless people aged 50+ face complications due to geriatric syndromes that include: (2)


Cognitive impairment

Sensory impairment

Urinary incontinence

Physical frailty

Major depression

Diseases like diabetes and arthritis

Percentage of homeless age 50 and older (2)

1990s: 11%

2003: 37%

Today: 50%


Unemployment rate for Americans 55+ (3)


War-related disabilities or disorders often contribute to veteran homelessness, including: (2)

Physical disability


Traumatic brain injury

Depression and anxiety



Percentage of homeless people who are veterans (2)


Percentage of homeless veterans who remain unsheltered (2)

Washington D.C. has the highest rate of veteran homelessness, at 145.8 homeless vets per 10,000. (2)


Percentage of homeless veterans who are black or Hispanic (4)

1.4 million

Number of veterans at risk of homelessness due to poverty, overcrowding in government housing and lack of support networks (4)


Percentage of homeless veterans with serious mental illness (4)

LGBTQ youth


Number of homeless LGBTQ youth in the U.S. (2)


Percentage of runaway and homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ (2)


Percentage of LGBTQ youth who say they live in a community that is not accepting of LGBTQ people (5)

LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to be physically bullied at school. (5)

Top reasons for LGBTQ youth homelessness (6)

Family rejection : 46%

Forced out by parents: 43%

Abuse at home: 32%

Aged out of foster care: 17%

Neglect from family: 14%


Percentage of homeless LGBTQ youth who have been sexually victimized, compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth.(7)


LGBTQ homeless youth suicide rate, compared to 29% among heterosexual homeless youth. (7)




Thanks to Claire Quiney, one of the creators of this infographic for sharing this with us


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Julie Reiskin

Our nation should be ashamed

Sandra Thomas

These rates are shocking. I am over 50 and the thing that many of us are afraid of is becoming homeless because of the housing problems that gentrification has caused in Nashville, TN. You can’t find housing that is affordable and I mean to the average person, not by the new definition of affordable that still keeps people out that are not desired. Many seniors are forced to move further out or to another city or state.

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