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40% Of All Homeless People Last Year Were Black, While Black People Only Make Up 13% Of The Population

Roughly 568,000 individuals were without a home last year, according to a new government report.

Posted on January 23, 2020, at 1:08 p.m. ET

Black people made up a disproportionate number of people who experienced homelessness last year, according to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress published in January.

Black people make up 13% of the US population but represented 39.8% of all individuals who were homeless, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development report. By comparison, 48% of all individuals who were homeless were white, and the percentage of people in the US who identify as white is roughly 77%.

The disparity is even more pronounced among families who were homeless. More than half of all individuals with children who experienced homelessness in the US last year were black, according to the report.

The nonpartisan nonprofit National Alliance to End Homelessness wrote in a statement that the report “reflects deep and persistent racial inequities among the people who experience homelessness.”

“This year’s report is [...] an urgent call to action to federal, state, and local leaders,” said Nan Roman, president and CEO of the nonprofit, in the statement. “We know how to end homelessness. Family homelessness has declined every year since 2012. And veteran homelessness went down eight of the past nine years. Now is not the time to abandon the practices that drove those results. Now is the time to get serious about funding them to scale.”

A third of all families who experienced homelessness in the US lived in New York state; about 13% of them were in California and 7% in Massachusetts. California saw the biggest increase of any state in families who were homeless from 2018 to 2019.

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