Florida’s homeless population shrinking, annual HUD report shows

By The Numbers
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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida’s homeless population is decreasing but the state still makes a large contribution to the nation’s homelessness, according to a newly-released report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

In its annual 2019 Homelessness Assessment, HUD – led by Dr. Ben Carson – reported positive changes in the country’s homelessness in the last decade.

“Compared to 2009, 40 percent fewer veterans experienced homelessness nationwide during 2019, which means 36,282 fewer veterans were without a home,” the report says. “The report shows a two percent decline in veteran homelessness between 2018 and 2019 alone.”

California has more than half of all unsheltered homeless people in the country with 53 percent or 108,432.

That’s nearly nine times as many unsheltered homeless as Florida. The Sunshine State has the second-highest amount of unsheltered homeless at 12,476.

Florida, along with three other states, had large numbers of homeless unaccompanied youth, the report shows. New York had the largest with 2,978, followed by Washington with 1,911, Oregon with 1,590 and Florida with 1,450.

The good news though, is that Florida has also seen one of the most significant decreases in homelessness across the country. The state saw an 8.7 percent decrease in its homeless population between 2018 and 2019, and a 41.1 percent decrease between 2007 and 2019.

As of 2019, HUD reports that Florida’s population of homeless individuals is 28,328.

Here is the breakdown of those individuals:

  • 7,063 with children
  • 1,450 unaccompanied homeless youth
  • 5,181 chronically homeless individuals

“This report demonstrates continued progress towards ending homelessness, but also a need to recalibrate policy to make future efforts more effective and aligned with the unique needs of different communities,” said Carson. “With partnerships among the federal government, states, localities, the faith community, and the private sector, together we can join in leading all individuals and families to the right type and level of support to move out of homelessness and into a better life.”

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