Homelessness in North Carolina: 2014 Update

This is an update of the 2013 data discussed in this post.

The interactive map below shows data from the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness (NCCEH) January 2014 Point-in-Time (PIT) count data. The PIT count is a statewide, unduplicated count of homeless people that is held on one night during the last week of January each year. These individuals are literally homeless, meaning that, on the night of the count, they are either living in an emergency shelter (including domestic violence shelters); in transitional housing; or living on the street, in their cars, abandoned buildings, or other places not meant for habitation.

The largest numbers of homeless individuals in North Carolina live in the counties with large urban centers, reflecting general patterns of population density: Mecklenburg (2,014), Wake (1,170), Guilford (897), and Durham (758). The highest rates of homelessness, however, occur in western counties. The Northwest Continuum of Care (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey counties) has the highest homelessness rate (0.41%), followed by Swain (0.35%), and Transylvania (0.32%). Statewide, the homelessness rate is 0.12%.

According to the NCCEH data, children make up 22% of North Carolina’s homeless population are children and another 13% are their parents. Single men make up nearly half of the homeless population (47%) while single women are 17%. Statewide, veterans are 10% of the homeless population.

These proportions vary dramatically among Continuum of Care regions throughout the state:

  • In Northwest North Carolina, the majority of homeless persons are children (41%) and adults (28%) living in families.
  • In both Charlotte/Mecklenburg County and Fayetteville/Cumberland County, children make up over a quarter of the homeless population.
  • The Asheville/Buncombe region has the highest proportion of veterans (42%), more than four times the statewide rate of veterans in the homeless population. The second highest veteran proportion is in Durham/Durham County: 17%.

The interactive graphic below shows the distribution of homeless persons by family structure and veteran status by Continuum of Care Region.

About Rebecca Tippett

Rebecca Tippett is Director of Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill's Carolina Population Center.
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