Myths and Facts About Homelessness
Information from 2014 Utah Homeless Point-In-Time Count; Utah HMIS 2014 Data
People experiencing homelessness suffer from the hardship of their condition, but also face alienation and discrimination fueled by stereotypes. Here are some myths and realities of homelessness.
Myth #1: People who are homeless stay homeless for a long time.
Fact: Only 3.9 percent of Utah’s homeless are considered chronically homeless or experience homelessness for long periods of time. Of those experiencing homelessness, 45 percent of single adults and 31 percent of families stayed in shelter less than one week during 2013.
Myth #2: Most of the people who are homeless are single men.
Fact: Persons in families constitute 46 percent of the total population, 40 percent are single men and 14 percent are single women.
Myth #3: The homeless population is transient, migrating to cities with the best services.
Fact: 88% of Utah’s homeless population lived in Utah when they became homeless.
Myth #4: They are to blame for their situation.
Fact: Many are victims of circumstance, illness, and trauma from violence or abuse. Roughly 29 percent of all homeless persons are children. About 38 percent of all homeless persons experience mental illness or substance abuse, and 35 percent report domestic violence