CCH’s 2016 count of homeless Chicagoans: 80,834

In 2016, 80,834 Chicagoans were homeless, according to an annual survey released by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH).

Eighty percent of homeless residents lived doubled-up in the homes of others due to hardship, often in overcrowded conditions. Twenty percent stayed in emergency shelters or lived on the street.

Population breakdowns include:

35,435 homeless people lived in 8,860 families with children

44,757 homeless individuals

11,067 unaccompanied homeless youth, ages 14 through 24

Developed last year, the CCH methodology includes people who experience homelessness by living doubled-up. It relies on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and data from Chicago’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

The 2016 total is 1.7% less than the 82,212 people counted in 2015.

CCH assessed that 64,114 people lived doubled-up in Chicago in 2016. Of those, 55.5% were black, 33.1% Hispanic/Latino, 6.5% white, and 4.9% other groups.

The share of those who doubled-up included 72% of individuals, 85% of unaccompanied youth, and 88% of families with children.

According to 2016 HMIS data, 23,808 people were served in the shelter system or other homeless service programs. Of those, 7,538 had been living doubled-up with family or friends at some point that year. Seventy-six percent of those served in the homeless service system were black, 19% white, and 5% other. Eleven percent reported themselves as Hispanic/Latino.

The city’s Homeless Management Information System is administered by All Chicago, which was not involved in the CCH data analysis.

 – Graphic by Claire Sloss, article by Julie Dworkin and Anne Bowhay