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The Demographics of Homelessness

September 11, 2014

Homelessness is a national problem with direct consequences in Iowa in general and the Dubuque in particular. That’s why Hillcrest is so active in our outreach to the homeless providing shelter, counseling, and assistance in numerous ways. But what are the demographics of homelessness, what groups do these people fall into?

To put things into context, the odds of becoming homeless during the course of a 12 month period are 1 in 194 for the general population, but the odds dramatically increase for people who are living at or below the federal poverty line. In this case, the odds are 1 in 29. The group that is most at-risk are poor veterans who have a 1 in 10 chance of becoming homeless. The next group of people who have an elevated risk of being homeless are youth who age out of foster care. This group has a 1 in 11 chance of becoming homeless.

The third most at-risk group is defined as people who are “doubled-up”. These were people who were living with family or friends because of economic need. Their chances of becoming homeless are 1 in 12. The final group who is most at risk are people who identified prison, jail or a juvenile detention center as their previous living situation prior to entering a shelter. This group has a 1 in 13 chance of becoming homeless.

Hillcrest Family Services offers many programs for the homeless with many success stories adding to our Culture of Results.