The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is presenting its annual report on homelessness to Congress this week.
The data, based on a national point-in-time count, show that Oregon again ranks near the top of states in terms of the percentage its homeless population that are living "unsheltered," i.e. on the streets, in vehicles, parks or other places not designated for humans to sleep.
Here's a representation of the highest and lowest states in terms of percentage of unsheltered homeless people:
The 100-page HUD report is full of grim findings. Homelessness nationally rose for the second year in a row after bottoming in 2016 and black Americans continue to be disproportionately affected by homelessness. "While accounting for 13 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans account for 40 percent of all people experiencing homelessness and 51 percent of people experiencing
homelessness as members of families with children," the report says.
Overall, although the number of people who are homeless nationally is increasing, the total remains far less than about a decade ago, when the Great Recession began.