Homelessness/Poverty Fact Sheet

  • The three most cited reasons for family homelessness are: 1) Lack of affordable housing, 2) unemployment, and 3) poverty.


  • 2.5 million children will experience homelessness this year in America.


  • 1 in 30 children in the United States experience homelessness annually.


  • Nearly 1.4 million school children were homeless in school year 2016-17.


  • Students experiencing homelessness are up to nine times more likely than their non-homeless peers to repeat a grade.


  • 51% of homeless children are under age 6 and, therefore, too young for school and are not counted.


  • 35% of all homeless persons nationwide are families with children.


  • Homeless families are often hidden from our view—they are living in shelters, cars, campgrounds, or doubled up in overcrowded apartments.


  • Nearly 40 million people (1 in 8) in the U.S. live below the poverty line.


  • More than 1 in 5  U.S. children under age 18, or 15 million, live in poverty.


  • In 2000, 12 million U.S. children (17%) lived in poverty.  By 2017, that number had grown to nearly thirteen million children (17.5%).


  • In 2018, the poverty line for a family of four is $25,100.


  • A worker needs to earn $12/hour to reach the poverty level for a family of four.


  • A renter needs to earn $21.21/hour to afford a two-bedroom rental in the U.S.


  • In only 22 counties in the country can a worker making the federal minimum wage afford a Fair Market Rent one-bedroom apartment.


  • 11 million households now pay more than 50% of their income for housing–an increase of 3.7 million households since 2001.


  • Only 25% of those eligible for federal housing assistance receive help, due to lack of funding.


  • For every ten extremely low income households, there are only three affordable rentals available on the market.


  • To meet the needs of low-income families, we need 4.5 million affordable housing units added to the current supply.


  • In America, just over 16 million children live in households where they have to skip meals or eat less to make ends meet.


  • Two-thirds of poor children live in families in which at least one family member works.

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