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Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (773) 549-6111
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Homelessness in Chicago

Homelessness: Frequently Asked Questions
From the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

How many homeless people are there in Chicago?
In 2011, 93,779 individuals experienced homelessness over the course of a year 14,055 on any given night (Chicago Coalition for the Homeless). 

What percentage of people experiencing homelessness in Chicago are families, youth, and single adults?
In 2011 CCH estimated that Chicago’s homeless population is made up of 47.4% families (44,505 people), including 33% children and 14% adults.  Unaccompanied homeless youth made up 5.8%.  Single adults made up 46.8% or 43,852 people.

What are the racial and ethnic demographics of the homeless population in Chicago?
The Chicago homeless population is made up of 78.1% African American, 20.5% White, 10.2% Hispanic, and 1.1% Asian individuals (Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 2011).

How common is domestic violence survival among homeless individuals?
The U.S. Conference of Mayors found that domestic violence was one of the three main causes of homelessness in Chicago and over one in four homeless individuals in the city have experienced domestic violence.  Nationwide, approximately 13% of homeless individuals are victims of domestic violence (U.S Conference of Mayors, 2011). 

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 in the United States is employed?
15% are employed (U.S. Conference of Mayors 2011 Status Report).

How many of 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 suffer from mental illness?
Approximately 26% suffer from 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 went up by 6% went up 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 3 years unless intervention occurs in the form of prevention and re-housing efforts.