America’s 5 Best Cities For Homeless Citizens

Homeless Services Help

In simple words, a homeless person does not have a home. Technically, homelessness refers to a situation of a person, family, or community without any safe, stable, and permanent homes.
According to the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” CDC, people living on the streets are fifteen times more likely to become victims of violence. Homeless people are more prone to health conditions – both acute and chronic.
Homelessness is one of the most complicated social issues with a wide range of underlying social and economic factors, which include uncertain mental and physical health, lack of affordable housing, poverty, addictions, as well as family and community breakdown.
In today’s article, I will talk about homelessness in the U.S and the best cities to be homeless. I recommend you to read this article carefully so that you grasp all the essential or important information and get the most out of it. Read on!

Homelessness in America – Facts

You will be surprised to know that half a million people in the U.S are homeless. The recent report of the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development “HUD” stated that a person is homeless when he or she does not have a fixed or regular nighttime residence.
In the U.S, as of 2018, more than 550,000 people were declared homeless. Among them, over 190,000 people are living without any shelter – i.e. they live on the streets. In addition, around 350,000 people are sheltered, which means they reside in some form of temporary housing.
When it comes to the overall homeless population in the U.S, it is just 0.2% of the total population of the United States. Statistically, this means 17 people in every 10,000 population are homeless. This figure is pretty low when we compare it with the statistical data of the homeless population in other countries of the continent such as Mexico, Brazil, and others.
According to the report of HUD, the majority of homeless people in the U.S resides in the California State. Categorically, more than 45% of homeless people in the U.S are found in California. San Jose, Santa Rosa, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the Californian cities with a large number of the homeless population. This is an alarming situation – of course.
A number of research studies show that the homeless population in the U.S suffer from both physical and mental health conditions. When we talk about the mental the prevalence of mental health conditions, over 100,000 people – i.e. more than 20% are suffering from several mental disorders.
Likewise, around 86,000 people – i.e. 16% of the total homeless population in the U.S suffer from chronic substance abuse and addiction-related disorders. So much so, 9% of the total homeless population in the U.S spend time in correctional facilities.
As per the report of HUD, homelessness is associated with a lack of connection to religious communities such as association to churches. Homelessness is also due to weak social ties. For instance, a homeless person usually has weak ties with family, friends, and religious communities.

Causes of Homelessness in America

Experts say that homelessness is a “cause and effect” social issue, which has severe repercussions on the country’s social and economic growth. It is associated with other issues that range from financial instability caused by underemployment or joblessness, chronic substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health conditions.
Homelessness – in fact – is a set of situations, traumas, and poor choices made by an individual, which puts him or her in a dangerous situation. One of the significant causes of homeless people in the United States is poverty, which means that people are deprived or don’t have access to food, housing, education, healthcare, and other amenities.
Moreover, battered women living in poverty either choose to live a life full of abuse and domestic violence or homelessness. Domestic violence is common among people – especially women who are homeless. For many people, it is one of the fearsome causes of homelessness.
Many women who have survived a series of domestic violence episodes turn to homeless service programs – the purpose of which is to provide a temporary but safe place to stay after they have fled abusive relationships. The other reason for turning to a homeless service program is that such women do not have enough financial resources to maintain a house or place of living.
Poor mental health is probably the number one cause of homelessness in the U.S. People who suffer from mental health disorders are likewise more susceptible to personal vulnerability, disaffiliation, and poverty, which are the main factors that cause homelessness.
Since such people lack the ability or capacity to maintain jobs, they become bankrupt. They don’t have enough money to make a living. This causes strange and delusional thinking, which makes them go in isolation leaving their family, friends, and acquaintances behind.
Mental illness impairs the ability of a person to be resourceful and resilient – for instance, a homeless person has confused thoughts and poor judgment. He or she can’t make an informed decision.
The stress of being homeless can exacerbate previously occurring mental health conditions such as fear, depression, insomnia, addiction, and above all anxiety. The needs of homeless people with mental health conditions are similar to people without psychological disorders. This includes safety, healthcare, education, affordable housing, transportation, and other public amenities.
It is important to know that the government of the U.S can address this issue by establishing community-based health services that deal with mental illnesses. The government can drastically reduce homelessness in America if they provide supportive housing to homeless people.
We can talk about the causes of homelessness for hours. The basic idea behind the aforementioned information is to make you aware of homelessness in the U.S. In the next section, we are going to talk about the best cities to be homeless in America. Continue reading!

Best Cities to be Homeless in America

The State of California has more than 45% of homeless people of the total population. Almost all big cities in California are undergoing severe problems – the intensity of which is increasing every passing day. Some experts say it is due to a lack of adequate policies.
1. Key West, Florida
The first city on our list of the best cities for homeless people in Key West, Florida. This city has tropical weather all year long, which provides a pleasant outdoor living environment for people.
Previously, this city was among the most hostile places for homeless people. However, recently, the Florida government, non-profit organizations, and public advocacy have made things easy for homeless guests that arrive in the city from other regions of the U.S.
The Florida Outreach Coalition in this regard has played a key role in providing numerous services that help and support homeless people. This includes job-preparation, treatment and rehab centers for the homeless, as well as the provision of education and food via sophisticated programs.
In addition, the “Key West Veteran Housing Program” is about the provision of transitional housing to war veterans living a homeless life. This program provides supportive services to these people in order to stabilize them as well as prepare them to live an autonomous life. The purpose is to live the American Dream.
This program allows war veterans to stay for up to 6 months. This is a not-for-profit program that has achieved substantial outcomes in terms of providing housing support to war veterans.
The program offers a wide range of services, which include case management, training, education, employment, single-unit dwellings, utilities, on-site laundry facilities, mental health treatment, and rehab centers, exercise programs, and computer labs.
2. Austin, Texas
Weather in Austin, Texas is variable. There are four seasons in the year. It is important to know that the temperature in the winter season is adequate enough for homeless people to live on the streets.
In addition, a “Homeless Resource Center,” which is a specialized program by the government is useful in providing different services to people suffering from homelessness.
This, in particular, includes the provision of mental health rehab services and food services. Likewise, there are many non-for-profit organizations – for instance, Green Door that is making significant efforts to provide shelter homes to children living in Austin.
Austin Public Health (APH) provides funds to numerous social service providers and organizations. The primary aim is to end homelessness in Austin and serve the existing homeless population with outreach and navigation.
APH focuses on the provision of emergency shelter services, homelessness prevention by offering mental health rehab programs, emergency shelter services, supportive housing on a permanent basis, as well as rapid rehousing programs.
Austin Resource Center for the Homeless provides resources and shelter in the downtown area of the city. “Front Steps” is a popular social service organization that is currently funding and managing this program.
Not only does it offer emergency shelter to homeless people but as of 2019, the center has been taking care of over 100 homeless people. In collaboration with Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, there are other co-located agencies that offer a wide range of services to homeless people.

treatment, rehab centers to treat addicts, veteran services, and community care clinics in Austin. The National Alliance to End Homeless has partnered with APH and Front Steps to further advance the program to end homelessness in Austin and neighboring areas.
3. Berkeley, California
The climate in Berkeley, California is mild, which favors outdoor living for homeless people all year long. The city of Berkeley hosts some of the most prestigious universities and most of them are working voluntarily to address the issue of homelessness in California.
Despite the fact that California has the largest number of homeless people, there are many programs to help people. These programs are “Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency” and “Berkeley Food & Housing Project.”
Additionally, there are many not-for-profit organizations that serve homeless people in the city. For instance, BOSS Multi-Agency Service Center helps poor, homeless, and individuals with a disability. The purpose of this center is to equip people with healthcare services so that they are psychologically strong enough to overcome poverty and homelessness.
Berkeley Food & Housing Project, as mentioned above, is serving the homeless population for the last 5 decades. The mission of this project is to end homelessness in Berkeley and provide the suffering population with food, housing, mental health treatment, etc.
Besides these, there are dozens of other homeless programs and centers for helping homeless people. Most of these centers or organizations provide emergency shelter, short-term housing solutions, as well as a tranquil environment where homeless people could cope with mental health issues like addiction, depression, anxiety, stress, and alcoholism.
4. San Diego, California
San Diego provides a moderate environment, which is comfortable enough for homeless people to live outdoor. The city of San Diego offers a wide range of homeless programs, which are funded by the federal, state, and city governments.
All programs for homeless people focus on the distribution of free food, provision of temporary housing to the most deserved, mental health rehabilitation centers, as well as job training services.
There are many Interfaith Community Services – that work collaboratively to establish comprehensive programs to provide basic amenities to homeless people.
The community services are designed to help homeless people and providing them with social services, counseling, mental health treatment, temporary housing, and empowering them to get back on track to living the American Dream.
Some of the major programs in San Diego focus on the provision of basic needs such as food, shelters, housing, family, social, employment, senior citizen, youth, and veteran services
Rachel’s Women Center is a not-for-profit organization that addresses the issues of homeless women.
In this center, women who have suffered from domestic abuse are provided mental health therapies and other forms of counseling to relieve them from the traumatic aftereffects.
Rachel’s Women Center – unlike other organizations – focuses only on women and provide them with a safer, supportive, and serene environment where they could cope with their issues.
The center also provides a wide range of employment opportunities to those recovered from the distressing situations of the past and empower them to make self-help efforts.
5. Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington is another best city to be homeless for different reasons. Although the weather of this city is not that favorable for homeless people – since there is a lot of rain throughout the year, still, this city is included in our list.
First and foremost, the government is supporting the homeless people and have passed several legislation’s to help people for the last 2 decades. Research shows that despite the significant efforts to reduce homelessness, the number of homeless people is growing. The reason is that many homeless people from other parts of the country move to this city.
Secondly, there are many NGOs and social work organizations that provide state-of-the-art services to these people. They are helping homeless people with shelters, housing assistance, legal referrals, rental assistance, food, transportation, rehabilitation centers, etc.
One of the most popular care centers in Seattle is “Crisis Clinic,” which provides mental health treatment and therapy programs to homeless people – especially women who have been the victims of domestic abuse and rapes.
Housing & Essential Needs (HEN) is another government-funded program that provides temporary housing facilities, shelter homes, and other amenities to homeless people.
The primary focus on people with disabilities. Not only does this program assist with utility and rental services, but it also provides the cleaning and hygiene supplies, transportation needs, healthcare facilities, etc.
Moreover, another best program known as the “Urban Rest Stop” is useful in providing a safe shelter home facility for homeless families.
The mission of this organization is to bring out people from the catastrophic effects of homelessness, which have affected the minds of these people.
So much so, they provide a welcoming and comfortable restrooms, shower facilities, laundry, a health clinic, and the physical exercise facility or gym.
Furthermore, the “Health Care for the Homeless Network” (HCHN) is considered the best health care program for homeless people residing in King Country. The program employs experts, professionals, and healthcare personnel to treat people with different ailments. HCHN aims to end poverty, food deprivation, and health issues.

Conclusion

Homelessness in America is an issue of concern. There are over 10 million homeless people in America. While this figure is low when we compare it with the total American population, yet, this is an alarming situation for the federal, state, and city governments. Well, the statistical figure of 0.2% is projected to grow by up to 0.5% by 2025.
In this sense, it is important that the government makes substantial reforms and passed bills to address the issue. As mentioned above, there is no city in the U.S that does not have services for the homeless population but still, there is a lack of resources to completely diminish the issue of homeless in America.
In today’s article, we have told you about the best cities to be homeless in the U.S. If you are a homeless person and reading post (by chance), we advise you to make some effort and contact the rehab centers, temporary housing programs, shelter homes, and other organizations to seek help.
Lastly, it is the duty of every American to help deprived individuals and families on a humanitarian basis so that they can live the American dream too. God help us all!

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8 Responses

  1. James, great article! Thanks for the schooling needed on this issue!

    I think it is our duty as Americans to help those who are in need, if for nothing else but that we may be in that same position at some point and would pray for that kind of help. I think the stats are incredibly interesting… any idea what portion of the homeless in California are Californians and how many are from other states?

    Also, what is California doing to see that the money invested in those who could work, (after training of course), have shown improved living situations, self-sustained improvement? Is California encouraging graduation from these programs?

    The line of those who need permanent assistance, due to health/mental conditions, and those who can/could improve their situation is a tough line to find… we need an unbiased person or organization to oversee… the church in my opinion has been a huge contributor of help to those in need, but not every church is the same either, very interesting… thanks James!

    1. Thanks for the above comment. I will do my best to try and answer the questions you ask in your reply.

      As of January 2019, California had an estimated 151,278 experiencing homelessness on any given day, as reported by Continuum of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).Last year California’s cities and counties tallied more than 150,000 people living on the streets or in emergency shelters — a 17% uptick from the previous year.

      I do not believe there is a way to break it down to who is from California, who is not, and facing homelessness.

      The yearly PIT report just counts the homeless people in a given area. The PIT count is how organizations get funding to help the homeless. But the the people doing the homeless count must physically see the homeless person for them to be included in the count.

      Advocates complain that the federal definition of homelessness is far too narrow — it excludes people who are doubled-up or couch surfing with relatives or friends, or paying for a cheap motel room.

      Even those living outdoors can be easily missed, especially if law enforcement has recently cleared encampments. Ware, who’s refining a more comprehensive point-in-time counting method, produced a Sacramento number nearly six times greater than the number of homeless people in the federal count.

      Amid all the uncertainties about the accuracy of the count, one thing seems certain: California’s numbers will be big — and weaponized, politically.

      The Trump administration used the 2019 count to assail the state’s Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom for what the president described as a tremendous failure.

      Last month U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson singled out California no fewer than nine times in his press release announcing national homelessness figures.

      If it wasn’t for California and Oregon, the administration noted, the country could boast a nationwide decline.

      Every community in California is required by HUD to conduct a one-night count every other year, but some places such as Fresno and Los Angeles County opt to conduct theirs every year. The tabulations made this month will form the basis for the certified annual U.S. count that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will release next December

      California’s most vexing issue is also its most shameful: the large and rising number of residents who lack a safe place to call home. In a state with vast amounts of wealth, more than 150,000 of its residents sleep in shelters, cars, or on the street.

      The United Nations compared the tent encampments of San Francisco to the slums of New Delhi and Mexico City. Nearly 5,000 people live in the half square mile of Los Angeles’ Skid Row. And while the problem is most acute in California’s urban centers, homelessness is now a common fixture in many of the state’s suburbs and rural towns. State and local officials have pledged billions in recent years to help, but voters remain frustrated by a lack of visible progress.

      President Donald Trump has wielded the state’s homelessness woes as a political cudgel, excoriating Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s progressive policies for allowing the country’s “best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings” to be blockaded by people without homes. In a Christmas Day tweet, Trump repeated his threats of federal intervention if the state fails to fix the problem.

      And I agree as a Christian we (The Public) should help the homeless when we can. Keeping in not everybody can for one reason or anither.

      But I will. It is important to give back to your community and other people less fortune than You or I.

    2. I’m a homeless person I’m 60 years old I work a full time job I do not drink or drug and no one is willing to rent to me because I haven’t been on my job for a year I have four months to go then maybe some one will rent to me I could go to a shelter but I don’t do well around addicts so I say away it is asham that people do this I

      1. Glen:
        Thanks for adding to the conversation here. A lot of landlord want someone to be at the same employer for six months to a year. So it’s not just or a personal issue that applies to everyone looking rent or buy a place.

        I definitely understand not wanting to be around drug users of any kind. Or wanting to stay at a Shelter. I don’t use drugs never have and I had to do the shelter thing in Florida myself. I don’t recommend it if you do have to go. But for some people the shelter is there only option. And that sad. Thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment. Have a blessed day and hang in there. I pray things will get better for you.

  2. You say every city in America has programs of some kind to help the homeless. This isn’t 100% accurate. In Utah, the city of Logan has zero options for helping the homeless. There is a relatively small number of homeless in the Cache Valley area but it is still no excuse for not helping the people who are homeless in the area. Other than non-profit housing and a food bank, no help is offered to the homeless in Logan, UT. In fact, Utah as a whole tries to sweep the homeless pandemic under the rug. I spent time being homeless on the streets of Ogden Utah and although there are shelters, food banks, and church services, the Utah community tends to mistreat or simply ignore the homeless population. The homeless are turned away from businesses and some locations that I personally visited while homeless, have an aggressive approach when it comes to a homeless person entering their premises. Utah even ships some of its homeless to Hawaii so it is no longer “Utah’s problem”. Homelessness is not going to go away by simply ignoring it.

    1. I realize from working with homeless citizens over time my blog has been up and after this article was published that some people live a great distance from resources for the homeless. While some communities have very limited resource to help those facing homelessness.

      But in my opinion and possible error in my own research all city should have resources to help the homeless.

      Daniel thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will definitely look into the matter and contact the people in that city to see what can be done to create services for the homeless if they don’t already have some in place.

      It saddens me to hear the above city does not have some kind of serves for the homeless. Thanks for your comments. Sorry this reply took so long and may not be what you want to hear.

      Due the pandemic I have been unable to reply until now. And there where some major changes with my hosting company for my website. Not trying to make excuses for my delay here. Just being open and honest with you.

  3. Not lazy or afraid of work work hard everyday cost of being homeless is expensive need a place that can sleep shower do laundry have a full time job

    1. Luther:
      Glad to hear you are not lazy and hard working and have a job. Yes, I agree to be a homeless cost lot. Try getting on any community transitional housing list in your area. It may take time to find housing but it’s worth the wait.

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