Facts & Statistics

  • 1 in 30 American children experience homelessness. They live with or without their families, in shelters, cars and abandoned buildings.
  • 51% of American children who experience homelessness are under age five.
  • More than 2.5 million children are homeless each year in America.
  • Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, accounting for almost 40-50% of the nation’s homeless.
  • Lack of affordable housing is a primary cause of homelessness in families; often one or both parents are working, but not making a livable wage. Additionally, events such as illness, unemployment, accidents and violence limit the ability to secure stable housing and affordable housing.
  • A typical homeless family is comprised of a single mother with her two young children.
  • Family homelessness is a growing social problem affecting families in every state. Nationwide, 85% of providers have seen family homelessness increase in recent years.
  • Family homelessness accounts for 37% of the overall homeless population and 50% of the sheltered population.
  • More than 90% of homeless mothers report they had been physically and/or sexually abused over their lifetimes.
  • Housing is essential to ending homelessness, but it is not sufficient. Families need basic supports beyond decent affordable housing to thrive: food, education, employment, child care, transportation, health and mental health care, trauma-informed care, and children’s services.
  • More than 90% of providers agree that services are necessary for families to remain stably housed, and that services need to be provided as soon as families become homeless and continue after they are permanently housed.

From The Bassuk Center on Homeless and Vulnerable Children & Youth