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States with the most homelessness

  • #21. Tennessee

    - State homeless population, 2019: 7,467 (0.11% of state population, -5.3% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 62.0% men, 37.8% women
    - Race demographics: 57.2% White, 38.7% Black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.7% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 2.7% Hispanic/Latino, 97.3% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Nashville-Davidson County (1,986 people, 26.6% of state homeless population)

    While Nashville, Tennessee, had a surplus of around 2,000 affordable rental properties in 2000, it had a shortfall of 18,000 units by 2015, according to Open Table Nashville. The lack of affordable housing options is making it difficult for the working class to find a place to live and may be contributing to homelessness.

  • #20. South Dakota

    - State homeless population, 2019: 995 (0.12% of state population, -14.2% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 60.8% men, 39.1% women
    - Race demographics: 28.6% White, 7.5% Black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 61.2% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 5.0% Hispanic/Latino, 95.0% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Data not available

    Native Americans in South Dakota face a disproportionately high rate of homelessness compared with other groups. The reservations of the state’s federally recognized tribes tend to have high rates of poverty, while members who go to cities in search of work often end up homeless, according to Cecily Hilleary of Voice of America.

  • #19. Nebraska

    - State homeless population, 2019: 2,365 (0.12% of state population, -2.3% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 63.2% men, 36.6% women
    - Race demographics: 66.8% White, 23.1% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 3.1% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 11.0% Hispanic/Latino, 89.0% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Omaha, Council Bluffs (1,410 people, 59.6% of state homeless population)

    Omaha, Nebraska, implemented a new job-placement program for homeless people and others who are struggling to make ends meet in February 2019. The city also had plans to open a new homeless shelter in December 2019, according to a November 2019 article from Tara Campbell of WOWT.

  • #18. Montana

    - State homeless population, 2019: 1,357 (0.13% of state population, -3.4% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 58.4% men, 40.9% women
    - Race demographics: 66.7% White, 2.7% Black or African American, 0.6% Asian, 17.2% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 10.8% Hispanic/Latino, 89.2% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Data not available

    Jim McGrath, a representative of the Missoula Housing Authority, has expressed concern that recent budget cuts to Montana’s mental health and disability services may drive up homelessness, according to Eric Whitney of Montana Public Radio. Most cities in the state have seen homelessness decline in recent years.

  • #17. Idaho

    - State homeless population, 2019: 2,315 (0.14% of state population, +15.1% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 60.1% men, 39.7% women
    - Race demographics: 82.2% White, 3.2% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 7.1% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 11.1% Hispanic/Latino, 88.9% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Boise/Ada County (713 people, 30.8% of state homeless population)

    Officials in Boise, Idaho, have been engaged in a legal battle to issue anti-camping violations to homeless people in the city, according to David Lightman of the Idaho Statesman. Many homeless people in the state have serious mental health or substance abuse problems.

     

  • #16. Florida

    - State homeless population, 2019: 28,328 (0.14% of state population, -8.7% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 64.8% men, 34.9% women
    - Race demographics: 55.0% White, 40.9% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.8% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 13.0% Hispanic/Latino, 87.0% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Miami-Dade County (3,472 people, 12.3% of state homeless population)

    Florida is facing a deficit of nearly 430,000 available and affordable rental units for low-income people, according to 2019 data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The lack of budget-friendly housing may be primarily to blame for homelessness in the state.

  • #15. Arizona

    - State homeless population, 2019: 10,007 (0.14% of state population, +1.4% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 62.9% men, 36.8% women
    - Race demographics: 63.1% White, 19.1% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 9.2% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 23.2% Hispanic/Latino, 76.8% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Phoenix, Mesa/Maricopa County (6,614 people, 66.1% of state homeless population)

    There are more than 1,500 homeless encampments in Phoenix, Arizona. When the city gets a complaint about an encampment, it sends an outreach team to offer services that can help, such as detox programs, according to Jessica Boehm of The Republic.

  • #14. Minnesota

    - State homeless population, 2019: 7,977 (0.14% of state population, +10.1% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 55.0% men, 44.6% women
    - Race demographics: 34.9% White, 43.3% Black or African American, 1.4% Asian, 11.8% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 7.3% Hispanic/Latino, 92.7% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Minneapolis/Hennepin County (3,400 people, 42.6% of state homeless population)

    Around 39% of homeless people in Minnesota say they left their last residence due to a lack of lease renewal or an eviction, according to the 2018 Minnesota Homeless Study. Another 38% say they can’t afford rent or mortgage payments.

  • #13. New Mexico

    - State homeless population, 2019: 3,241 (0.15% of state population, +27.0% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 59.5% men, 39.4% women
    - Race demographics: 56.8% White, 5.9% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 26.0% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 42.0% Hispanic/Latino, 58.0% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Albuquerque (1,524 people, 47.0% of state homeless population)

    There’s a new $30 million homeless shelter in the works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Some people quoted in a report from Jeannie Nguyen of KRQE Media said that homeless people from other states are coming to New Mexico in the hopes of accessing more resources.

  • #12. Maine

    - State homeless population, 2019: 2,106 (0.16% of state population, -16.3% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 51.9% men, 47.2% women
    - Race demographics: 75.1% White, 17.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 2.0% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 4.7% Hispanic/Latino, 95.3% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Data not available

    Only five states—one of which is Maine—have found a way to shelter a minimum of 95% of their homeless residents, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report cited in an article by Taylor Cairns of WGME. However, housing advocates say Maine’s homelessness rates fail to count the total number of homeless people in the state, according to Bangor Daily News.

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