Poll Shows Americans Increasingly Worried About Homelessness

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there were approximately 421,400 homeless people in the United States last year, with an additional 127,750 classified as chronically homeless.

The most recent national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports shows that over two-thirds of Americans feel homelessness has worsened in the previous two years.

According to the alliance, annual nationwide increases in homelessness have averaged around 6% since 2017.

Rasmussen polling shows that 87 percent of American adults consider homelessness a significant problem, with 61 percent labeling it a “very severe” issue. Fewer than 10% think homelessness is not an important issue. Since May, these results have shown essentially little change.

The majority of Americans (36%) and local governments (18%) agree with the Rasmussen survey that addressing homelessness should be their primary job, while the federal government (30%) and a sizable minority (16%) disagree.

The percentage of people who believe ending homelessness should primarily be a federal responsibility is higher among Democrats (40%) than among Republicans (22%) or the unaffiliated (26%). Among registered voters, 41% of Republicans, 28% of Democrats, and 39% of those who do not identify with either major political party believe that addressing homelessness is primarily the responsibility of the state, while 23% of Republicans, 15% of Democrats, and 17% of those who do not identify with either major political party hold the opposite view.

The Rasmussen study found that adults under 40 were less likely to believe homelessness has worsened in the past two years than their senior counterparts and that they were also more likely to view the issue as primarily a government duty.

Most women (39%) in the survey disagree with the federal government’s role in addressing homelessness, whereas only 32% of males share this view. Most women over 40 believe the homeless crisis in the United States has deteriorated during the previous two years.

The percentage of Americans who believe homelessness is a severe problem has decreased, and the rate of those who think it has improved over the past two years is higher among those earning more than $200,000.

On September 19-21, Rasmussen Reports polled 1,085 American adults. With a 95% confidence level, the sampling error is within +/- 3%. Pulse Opinion Research, LLC handles all of Rasmussen Reports’ field work for their surveys.