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Homelessness by the Numbers

Facts and Statistics

  • Homelessness, over and above poverty, has a disproportionate impact on the education, health, and well-being of students: compared with students who are merely low-income, homeless students suffer from higher rates of health and mental health challenges, and lower graduation rates. (1)
  • Youth experiencing homelessness in the U.S. are 87% more likely to drop out of high school. (2)
  • Children who experience prolonged homelessness are 5 times more likely than their non-homeless peers of becoming homeless as adults.
  • 2,079 school-aged children were identified as experiencing homelessness in NKY in 2020-21 – 18.2% of those children did not live with their biological parents.
  • Some main causes of family homelessness: lack of education; limited income; lack of job skills; lack of life skills; mental illness, addiction, disability; unemployment and underemployment; lack of safe, affordable housing; limited family support; lack of access to health care; domestic violence and lack of affordable childcare.
  • Single female heads of household make up 80% of all families experiencing homelessness in NKY.
  • The primary cause of homelessness in America is the lack of affordable housing. One in four renters spends more than half their income on housing.
  • Family homelessness, once viewed as episodic and situational, has become chronic, with families accounting for 37% of the overall homeless population, (3), (this percentage does not include those families living doubled up).
  • In the 2015-2016 school year, public schools enrolled 43,559 homeless children ages 3-5 in preschool programs run by school districts. This is a 9% increase over the previous year (4). 

Find additional facts on early childhood homelessness here.

The following reports are provided to keep you up to date and informed on challenges facing children and youth experiencing homelessness.

The Characteristics and Needs of Families Experiencing Homelessness by The National Center on Family Homelessness

2021 National Center for Homeless Education: Student Homelessness in America

Bridging the Graduation Gap: Why School Stability is Key for Homeless High School Students

Are We Creating Chronic Homelessness? The Past, Present, and Future of Federal Homelessness Policy

The Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness rank Kentucky 15th in identifying homeless students..