Homelessness in Chicago

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Homelessness in Chicago

  • How many homeless people are there in Chicago? In 2015, 125,848 individuals experienced homelessness over the course of a year (Chicago Coalition for the Homeless)
  • What are the age and family demoraphics of Chicagoans experiencing homelessness? In 2015, people living within families totaled half (50.2% 63,153 people) of Chicago's homeless population. Children and teens comprised 35% (43,958) and parents or grandparents were 15.2% (19,195). Unaccompanied youth who were minors, aged 14-17, totaled 3.5% (4,457). Single adults totaled 46.3% (58,238). This total included 6,990 unaccompanied youths who were ages 18-21. 
  • What are the racial and ethnic demographics of the homeless population in Chicago? The Chicago homeless population is made up of 76% African American, 11% White, 10% Latino, and 3% other ethnicities(Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 2011).
  • How common is domestic violence survival among homeless individuals? The 2015 U.S. Conference of Mayors survey says Chicago reported 20% of homeless residence were domestic violence victims, comapred to 23% in 2014, 20% in 2013, and 33% in 2012. In a comprehensive 2004 study, 56% of women in Chicago shelters reported that they had experienced domestic violence, according to the Center for Impact Research. (Chicago Coalition for the Homeless).  
  • How many children in Illinois schools are homeless? According to the Illinois State Board of Education 42,800 homeless children were enrolled in Illinois schools by the end of the 2011 school year, an increase of 62 percent since the 2008-2009 school year. 15,289 homeless students were enrolled in Chicago Public Schools, an increase of 24 percent (Chicago Coalition for the Homeless).
  • What percentage of homeless adults is employed? Nationwide, 15% are employed (U.S Conference of Mayors, 2011).
  • How many homeless individuals are physically disabled? Approximately 16% (U.S Conference of Mayors, 2011).
  • How many homeless individuals are veterans? 13% of homeless adults (U.S Conference of Mayors, 2011).
  • How many homeless individuals live with mental illness? Approximately 26% live with severe mental illness, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
  • What is the possible nationwide trajectory of homelessness over the next few years? According to the Conference of Mayors, in 2011 homelessness increased an average of 6% in cities across the nation. The Homelessness Research Institute at the National Alliance to End Homelessness predicts that United States homelessness could increase by 5%, or to 74,000 individuals over the next three years unless intervention occurs in the form of prevention and re-housing efforts.

From the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless