LOCATE IT: Surveys show city-by-city tally of homelessness


EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS:

Homelessness has been on the rise for several years in the United States, due to rising numbers on the West Coast. Experts expect the general trend to continue during the coronavirus pandemic.

The federal government typically releases national results from local point-in-time counts between November and January. Counts attempt to count the number of homeless people at any given time. But the Associated Press has compiled the top-line…

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EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS:

Homelessness has been on the rise for several years in the United States, due to rising numbers on the West Coast. Experts expect the general trend to continue during the coronavirus pandemic.

The federal government typically releases national results from local point-in-time counts between November and January. Counts attempt to count the number of homeless people at any given time. But The Associated Press has compiled key findings from local reports as they have been released over the past few months.

Preliminary figures suggest homelessness is increasing overall, but with significant increases in some places and decreases in others.

Some tips for locating the story:

RESOURCES

– Associated Press reporters followed This downloadable CSV spreadsheet contains the total number of homeless, housed and unhoused people for each continuum of care for which the AP collected complete data for 2020 and 2022.

– AP/Report for America data reporter Kavish Harjai has in this file which includes a more in-depth explanation of the data and its limitations and lists of areas where the number of homeless people has risen and fallen.

— Every community in the United States is part of a continuum of care that provides services to homeless people on a point-in-time basis. They are a good place to find survey results for communities that are not on the AP analysis or more details for those that are. The groups, which are government agencies in many places, also have local homelessness experts.

— Especially in big cities, there are non-governmental groups that advocate for and provide services to homeless people.

REPORTING QUESTIONS/TIPS

— Has the number of homeless people changed in your area? If so, what economic forces and/or government actions are believed to be driving the change? Are there any changes in methodology that could impact local data?

— Do the experiences of homeless people agree with the explanations of local elected officials and experts?

— How are local policies changing?

— Are there any political implications of thinking about how to deal with homelessness?

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Localize It is an occasional feature produced by The Associated Press for use by its customers. Questions can be directed to Katie Oyan at [email protected]

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