Report Finds Over 50% Of Homeless Families Are Black

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Written by Alexis Reese

In 2019, an estimated 568,000 Americans experienced homelessness.

Despite Black people making up only 13% of the United States’ population, a newly released report, (The 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress), by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that 40% of homeless individuals are Black. White people make up 77% of the U.S. population and 48% of the nation’s homeless.

The AHAR finds that Black households are more likely to experience poverty than white households. Poverty has become a strong predictor for homelessness

According to the 2019 report, Black Americans accounted for about 52% of homeless people with children, while white Americans only accounted for nearly 35%.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, a nonpartisan nonprofit, released a statement earlier this month to address the heightened concerns of the disparity. 

“This year’s report is as an urgent call to action to federal, state, and local leaders,” said Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “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.”

New York state, California and Massachusetts is where a third of all families were heavily impacted by homelessness in the U.S.

From 2018-2019, California saw the biggest increase of any state to be a part of the homeless crisis.

With the 2020 election nearing, presidential campaigns have made the housing shortage a top priority domestic issue. 

A key point in presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign is “Housing for All,” which looks into making rent more affordable through Section 8 vouchers becoming available without wait lists, Sanders also wants to strengthen the Fair Housing Act.

“It is the fault of systems that have failed our most vulnerable populations, and leaders who have failed to protect them. Our charge for 2020 is to remain committed to the best practices in ending homelessness, and to remain resolved to addressing the systems that cause people to become homeless,” said Roman.

(Photo: © Viviane Moos/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

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