As we continue to play Christmas music on Y101 thru Christmas Day, from time to time the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” will be heard. Fortunately, most people will make it home for Christmas. Unfortunately for others, there is no home to go to. Homelessness in the United States is a serious problem, even if there has been a slight decline according to the latest statistics. The national Homelessness situation in the U.S. has remained largely unchanged in 2018.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that nationally 552,830 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018, an increase of 0.3 percent since last year. Meanwhile, homelessness among veterans fell 5.4 percent and homelessness experienced by families with children declined 2.7 percent nationwide since 2017.

On a single night in January 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported the following statistics for the State of Illinois:

  • 10,643 people were homeless representing a decline of 1.4% from 2017 and 26.1 percent decrease since 2010.
  • Some homeless persons were un-sheltered (1,942), while most (8,701) persons were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs.
  • The number of families with children experiencing homelessness in 2018 (1,223) declined 0.4 percent since 2017 (-5).
  • On a single night in January 2018, 804 veterans experienced homelessness, a decline of 6.9 percent (or by 60 persons) since January 2017.  Since 2010, Veteran homelessness in Illinois declined by 329 or 29 percent.
  • Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals (1,625) increased 10.2 percent (or 150 persons) over 2017 levels.

Locally, the local homeless shelter is provided by the Salvation Army and is located at 5th and Broadway in Quincy. According to the latest numbers from the Salvation Army, the local shelter has served 453 people in a 12 month period of time.