HUD’s annual Point-in-Time survey is far from scientific, but it provides provides the only consistent measure of homelessness in the United States.
Pennsylvania and its cities were highlighted for their increases in homelessness among families, veterans and unaccompanied youth, which refers to people younger than 25 who are alone or those living in groups comprised entirely of minors, in the most recent data release from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Conducted during the same 24-hour stretch each year in January, HUD’s annual Point-in-Time survey is far from scientific because people who are homeless can be difficult to find and are harder still to track. But the survey data provides the only consistent measure of homelessness in the United States.
HUD’s 2014 data and summary report reflects numbers reported this year by outreach and social service organizations nationwide.
1. Pennsylvania had the third-largest increase in the number of unaccompanied youth who are homeless in 2014 from 2013, the first year that sub-population was counted.
• The Commonwealth’s count of unaccompanied youth was up 137 people, or nearly 17 percent, while it decreased nationally.• Homeless youth now account for 6 percent of the state’s homeless population, which remains below the national 7 percent rate, according to Keystone Crossroads’ analysis of HUD data.• The number of youth who are unsheltered increased by nearly a third in Pennsylvania at a time when the total population of unsheltered homeless decreased in the Commonwealth and nationally, the analysis showed.
2. Philadelphia counted 2,629 family members who are homeless. That’s eighth among major cities nationally (Philly’s population ranks fifth).
• Philadelphia’s 2014 count of family members who are homeless was up by 2 percent from 2013, slightly higher than the 1.2 percent average increase among major cities.• Nationally, homelessness among families dropped – but increased in cities.
3. Chester County reported 288 veterans who are homeless, the 10th highest of smaller cities and metro regions in the U.S., but all were counted in shelters, according to the report.
• The majority of veterans are counted in shelters in every state but five: Montana, California, Nevada, Hawaii and Georgia.• Homelessness among veterans is dropping across the board: in different geographies and subgroups (sheltered and unsheltered, short-term and chronic homelessness, etc.).