Homelessness increased by 2.2% from 2019 to 2020, according to Department of Housing and Urban Development data released on Thursday.
The newly-released report found that 580,466 spent at least one night homeless in 2020, an increase of 12,751. The data examines the same night in January every year. The data did not capture the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on homelessness.
After a six-year decline of homelessness from 2010 through 2016, 2020 marked the fourth straight year of increased homelessness.
Chronic homelessness saw an even larger jump of 15% in 2020. Meanwhile, child homelessness fell 2.2%.
Black, Hispanic and indigenous people saw disproportionately high levels of homelessness.
Nearly 40% of all homeless Americans in 2020 were Black, while 23% of the homeless population were Hispanic or Latino. Although indigenous people only represent 1% of the overall population, nearly 5% of the homeless population were indigenous people.
“The findings of the 2020 AHAR Part 1 Report are very troubling, even before you consider what COVID-19 has done to make the homelessness crisis worse,” said Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are once again putting Housing First to end this crisis and build strong, healthy communities, as reflected in the American Rescue Plan. I look forward to working with President Biden to implement this historic package to deliver robust, equitable relief to those experiencing homelessness. Housing should be a right, not a privilege, and ensuring that every American has a safe, stable home is a national imperative.”