Obviously our project is about individuals and not just statistics. But for people like myself who have a limited understanding of homelessness in Richmond, statistics can be very informative.
The organization Homeward conducted a demographic survey of 692 homeless individuals in January 2009. Here are the results:
- 73.8% of adults are males, 25.9% are females, and .3% are transgendered. Most homeless persons are single, never married adults (56.4%). 6.3% are married, and 43.6% of people experiencing homelessness are or have been in families, including those who are married, as well as those who are separated, widowed, or divorced.
- 10.9% of homeless persons have children living with them.
- A majority of persons report that they are African-American (67.7%), followed by White (26.3%). 4.4% indicated that they are Hispanic.
- The average age for adults is 44.4 years.
- 52.7% have a high school education or GED. 22.3% attended some college, and 8.7% have a college degree or higher.
- 17.8% are veterans.
- The majority (73.0%) served some time in jail and/or prison. Out of all individuals surveyed (including those who have not served time in jail and/or prison), 43.2% reported serving time in jail, 7.5% reported serving time in prison, and 22.3% indicated that they had served time in both jail and prison.
- 26.4% have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. Of those experiencing domestic violence, 5.8% had experienced it in the past month, and 35.5% had experienced it in the past year.
- 45.7% report having a problem with alcohol sometime in their lifetime. Of those reporting a problem with alcohol, 78.1% are currently in recovery.
- 51.5% report having a problem with substance abuse sometime in their lifetime. Of those reporting a problem, 76.9% are currently in recovery.
- 30.7% report having a mental health problem sometime in their lifetime. Of these, 69.7% are currently being treated and 64.1% are taking medication for mental health problems.
- 26.7% report having a long-term disability.
- 25.2% are employed. Of those who are employed, 41.2% work full-time, 32.4% work part-time, and 26.4% do day labor or temp work.
- 50.0% of respondents have lived in Greater Richmond for 5 years or more; 35.4% have lived in the area for 17 years or more.
- Most (52.6%) reported having their last housing in Richmond. Others indicated previous housing in Henrico (9.1%), Chesterfield (7.4%), and Hanover (3.1%). 17.6% of respondents last lived elsewhere in Virginia, and 9.6% lived in other states.
- In the past three years, most homeless persons have been homeless once (62.9%) or twice (20.9%); 16.2% have been homeless three or more times during this time period.
- A little more than half (51.4%) of homeless persons have been homeless for 5 months or less.
The original document can be found in PDF format here.