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National Coalition For The Homeless Report

MapNumber of Homeless Veterans by Region

The map represents the Point-In-Time estimates from The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress. In January 2013 three states – California, Florida, and New York – accounted for 44% of all homeless veterans across the country.*

Point-in-Time Counts are unduplicated 1-night estimates of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. The 1-night counts are conducted by Continuums of Care nationwide and occur during the last week in January of each year.

*Statistics from The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, Veteran Homelessness: A Supplemental Report to the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, and the 2011 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness: Supplement to the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report

MapContinuums of Care (CoC) are local planning bodies responsible for coordinating the full range of homelessness services in a geographic area, which may cover a city, county, metropolitan area, or even an entire state.

People in Families are people who are homeless as part of households that have at least one adult and one child.

Homeless Veterans (Published by the National Coalition for the Homeless, January 2013)

This fact sheet examines homelessness among United States Veterans. A list of resources for further study is also provided.


Although flawless counts are impossible to come by – the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty – the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 47,725 veterans are homeless on any given night.

Approximately 12,700 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) were homeless in 2010. The number of young homeless veterans is increasing, but only constitutes 8.8% of the overall homeless veteran population.


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 8% being female. The majority are single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About 12% of the adult homeless population are veterans.

Roughly 40% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 10.4% and 3.4% of the U.S. veteran population, respectively.

Homeless veterans are younger on average than the total veteran population. Approximately 9% are between the ages of 18 and 30, and 41% are between the ages of 31 and 50. Conversely, only 5% of all veterans are between the ages of 18 and 30, and less than 23% are between 31 and 50.

America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone.

Here are some statistics concerning homeless Veterans:

12% of the homeless adult population are veterans
68% reside in principal cities
32% reside in suburban/rural areas
51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
50% have serious mental illness
70% have substance abuse problems
51% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veterans
50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans