HUD/HHS/VA Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness: Preliminary Client Outcomes Report. The problem of chronic homelessness

02/26/2007

It has been estimated that 637,000 persons in the United States experience homelessness in any given week, and 2.1 million persons experience homelessness in a given year (Burt et al, 2001). While most of these persons experience homelessness for only a brief period of time, an estimated one-in-ten (10%) have experienced chronic homelessness, defined as those who experience homelessness characterized by either greater duration or more frequent of episodes (Kuhn & Culhane, 1998). Many of the estimated 150,000-200,000 persons experiencing chronic homelessness appear to have disabling health and or behavioral health problems (NOFA, 2003; SAMHSA, 2003). An estimated 40% of chronically homeless individuals have substance abuse problems, 25% have a disabling physical health problem, and 20% have a serious mental health problem (Culhane et al, 2001).

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