This page provides up-to-date statistics and charts about homelessness in New York City. Here you can find up-to-date data about New York City’s homeless shelter population, download charts and historical statistics about homelessness in New York City, and find an explanation of data sources.
New York City’s Homeless Shelter Population: A Snapshot (May 2018)
- Total number of homeless people in municipal shelters: 61,945
- Number of homeless families: 15,023
- Number of homeless children: 22,538
- Number of homeless adults in families: 22,470
- Number of homeless single adults: 16,937
- Number of homeless single men: 12,591
- Number of homeless single women: 4,346
A Note on the Data
- Coalition for the Homeless relies on public data sources for statistics about the New York City homeless shelter population. These data sources record the nightly (or average nightly) number of homeless people residing in municipal homeless shelters as well as the unduplicated number of different people who utilize municipal homeless shelters each year.
- The Coalition reports on the number of homeless adults and children residing in the municipal shelter system, which is primarily administered by the NYC Department of Homeless Services. This does not include data about homeless people residing in other public and private shelters including: families and individuals residing in domestic violence shelters; runaway and homeless youth residing in youth shelters; homeless people living with AIDS residing in special emergency housing; homeless people residing in faith-based shelters; and homeless people sleeping overnight in drop-in centers. Our reports focus on the municipal shelter system because data for that system is historically consistent over three decades. Moreover, the large majority of homeless New Yorkers in public and private shelters — approximately nine out of ten — reside in the municipal shelter system.
- The Coalition’s data about New York City’s homeless shelter population is more accurate and historically consistent than data currently made available to the public by the NYC Department of Homeless Services. For instance, the homeless shelter population data found on the website of the NYC Department of Homeless Services currently excludes around 2,000 homeless children and adults residing in municipal homeless shelters, including homeless military veterans. In response to the City’s failure to provide accurate and consistent data, the New York City Council passed a law in 2011 which requires that accurate data about the number of people sleeping in municipal shelters be made available to the public online by the Mayor’s Office of Operations — those reports can now be found on the NYCStat website (under the link “Temporary Housing Assistance Usage”).
- While there is accurate data on the sheltered NYC homeless population, there is no reliable measurement of the unsheltered homeless population in New York City. The City of New York, under a mandate from the Federal government, produces an annual estimate of the unsheltered homeless population based on a single winter night’s survey. The City’s controversial estimate has been criticized by advocates and academic researchers as a significant undercount of the actual number of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers. Moreover, the City’s estimate does not account for unsheltered homeless people sleeping in non-visible locations.