From: US News & World Report
President Donald Trump has ruffled feathers of California officials and others this summer with his comments about homelessness in U.S. cities.
While boarding Air Force One Sept. 18, Trump said that the Environmental Protection Agency will be issuing a “notice” to San Francisco for its homelessness, which he claims is causing environmental damage. “There’s tremendous pollution being put into the ocean,” Trump said, according to NBC News. “There are needles, there are other things.” He added, “We can’t have our cities going to hell.”
In an interview with Fox News in July, Trump appeared to blame the homeless population for playing a role in ruining cities and appeared to suggest the U.S. is going through an alarming increase in homelessness. “We’ve never had this in our lives before in our country,” he said.
But what is the true state of homelessness in the U.S.? Here are 10 facts about homelessness in America:
1. Although homelessness increased slightly – by 0.3% – between 2017 and 2018, it’s been on a general downward trend for the past decade, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In 2018, about 553,000 people were homeless for at least one night, according to the nonprofit organization. Between 2007 and 2012, an average of 630,000 people experienced homelessness per year.
2. Half of all people experiencing homelessness in 2018 were in one of five states, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: California (24%), New York (17%), Florida (6%), Texas (5%) and Washington (4%). Of the country’s urban areas that include a major city, New York, Los Angeles/Los Angeles County and Seattle/King County had the most homeless people.
3. African Americans represent 13% of the U.S. population but 40% of all people experiencing homelessness and 51% of individuals who are homeless with children, according to HUD.
4. In January 2018, 38,000 veterans faced homelessness on a given night – half the number than in 2010. The rate of overall homelessness has also dropped significantly, by 13% over that same time period.