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Facts and Resources for Homelessness

Bonsai Blue Spruce Sapling
To thrive, we all need shelter, food and a community where we feel safe.

 This blog uses data from the 2022 report from The Urban Land Institute (ULI) where big business and diverse professionals tackle global problems. The information and chart can be found at the Urban Land Institute, Homeless to Housed: The ULI Perspective Based on Actual Case Studies (Washington DC: ULI, 2022)  More resources with facts on homelessness are linked at the bottom of the blog.



The ULI report estimates that the public sector spends between $30,000 to $50,000 annually for every homeless person (hospitalization, jails, emergency responders).














(under 25 years old; about 50 percent are unsheltered)






(Note: US department of Housing January 2023 reports higher numbers)

With so much money spent and little progress reducing homelessness, ULI’s report then became a focuse on 1) causes of homelessness and 2) best practices to reduce the causes.


The number one cause of homelessness is not addiction,

 mental health, laziness, or unemployment.   

The number one cause of homelessness is

lack of affordable housing.

Freddie Mac estimates that the deficit is 3.8 million housing units, while the National Low Income Housing Coalition puts the shortfall at 6.8 million units. Even with the discrepancy, data shows that the lack of units in the USA is severe.

In 2021, The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that there were 33 units of affordable housing for every 100 low income households. Without housing, people lack services simply because they have no address. Housing First recognizes the importance of housing people first. Then, they can access services.

ULI researched and identified benefits and pitfalls of various housing options. It is important to study the positive and negative aspects of housing to balance healthy solutions and cost effectiveness. Here are the housing options they studied:

New Orleans Shelter and Engagement Center is a low barrier shelter (requirement for entry is limited or minimal). Serves 100 units/residents and because it’s low barrier, residents can bring their pets and stay with their significant others (without questions concerning addiction or health). Think of this center as a safe place while services can be identified. Staff are trained to de-escalate problems that arise for the safety of all residents.

San Antonio Haven for Hope: a facility that is a ‘one stop shop for services’ to move homeless people from unhoused, temporary, to permanent housing. Estimates are 1400 residents per night, with over 40,000 clients receiving services. San Antonio has seen a 28 percent decrease in homelessness since Haven for Hope opened.

Berkeley CA Berkeley Way: sponsored redevelopment of a city-owned surface parking lot in downtown Berkeley that created three distinct projects—an 89-unit affordable family housing development; a 53-unit permanent supportive housing development; and a homeless shelter plus transitional housing—in one unified building.

Moutain Way, CA LifeMoves: offers a private unit for each household experiencing homelessness, whether a single adult, a couple, or a family. Provides supportive services and case management designed to return people to permanent housing.

City of Long Beach, CA Best Western: I found this article on the death of 20 people at the Best Western within the last three years. As of March 2024, there is a new non-profit managing the property. I’ll blog about their improvements at another time.

San Francisco Bryant Street Project: The use of modular construction expediated the construction of 145 housing units and cut over all costs. It offers permanent housing for people who face housing insecurities. Developers believe that this structure can be “the prototype of what is hoped to model a new financing structure for permanent supportive housing.” For more information, visit the project website:

Washington, DC John and Jill Ker Conway Residence: 60 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for formerly homeless veterans, 17 units for individuals from the DC Department of Behavior Health, 47 units for individuals making less than 60% of Area Median Income and 17units for making less than 30% of Area Median Income. Onsite wrap-around services keep the resident housing stable.

Charlotte, NC Lotus Campaign  - Sharon Crossing: 144- unit apartment community with 30 units for those who have experienced homelessness. Reserved units are priced at 60% of Average Median Income. Lotus Campaign’s purpose is to increase availability of housing for people experiencing homelessness by engaging the for-profit sector.


Homelessness is not going away and these organizations offer only a limited number of housing units. As ULI states, “This report is about the role the real estate community can play in addressing the issue of homelessness. The case studies show how, with the right planning, resources, vision, and courage, we can begin to ensure that there is housing for those who want it. It is a beginning, not an end."

When we help everyone in the community thrive, our whole community thrives.

Find more Facts and Resources on Homelessness on the links below.

Two people celebrating catholic charity
Home page for Catholic Charities

35th anniversary for people building homes for others
Home page for Project Home


logo of hand setting dove free
Home page for Covenant House


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