How do we define homelessness?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has two primary definitions of homelessness. Both revolve around the basic idea of not having a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

What information do we have?

The Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress is a publication created yearly by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The AHAR presents the best statistics we have on the homeless population in the United States.

What is the U.S. doing about it?

In 2010, the Obama administration drafted and presented to Congress a federal plan to prevent and eliminate homelessness. That plan, updated in 2012 and 2015, is called "Opening Doors."

Understanding problems

What does it mean to be homeless? Let's take a walk through some of the key terms involved in understanding homelessness in the U.S.

Getting answers

Before we can fix the problem, we have to understand its scope. The Annual Homeless Assessment Report is invaluable for the wealth and detail of the data it provides on the homeless population of the U.S.

Finding solutions

Once we understand what the scale of homelessness in the U.S. is, what can we do about it? The Obama administration's federal plan to prevent and eliminate homelessness, "Opening Doors," documents the steps the government is trying to take to improve the situation of homeless people in the U.S.