Facts About Chicago‚Äôs Homeless Population

What are some recent statistics regarding homeless people being served by Chicago shelters and housing programs?

According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors 2015 Hunger and Homelessness Survey, one-third of Chicago’s homeless population (33%) were severely mentally ill, 20% were victims of domestic violence, and 19% were physically disabled. About 14% of the city’s homeless population had some form of employment, 7% were veterans, and 4% were HIV-positive.

In 2014, the number of emergency shelter beds available in Chicago over the previous year declined 17.6%, to 1,701 beds. The city reported an increase of 17.2% in available beds in transitional housing, to 4,574 beds. The number of beds in permanent supportive housing declined 10%, to 7,613 beds.

What kind of population does CHI serve?

Over 85% of the people we serve are unemployed and 46% report being homeless, according to a recent CHI survey completed by 119 of our guests. Twenty-one percent live in a shelter or other type of residence; 17% are in rental housing; 14% live with friends or family; and 11% live in a single-room occupancy hotel.

About 80% of our guests are men, 20% are women; several survey respondents identify as transgender.  Twenty percent are military service veterans. Six percent of our survey respondents report being married; 18% are separated; 65% are single; 5% are in a domestic partnership; 3% are widowed; and 4% have children. 

What are the racial/ethnic backgrounds of the people CHI serves?

Of our guests, 69% are African-American, 17% are white, 7% are Hispanic, 4% are Native American, and 3% are Asian.


US Conference of Mayors Hunger and Homelessness Survey/December 2015



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