In 2010, one out of every 141 black family members stayed in a homeless shelter, a rate seven times higher than members of white families, according to “Intergenerational Disparities Experienced by Homeless Black Families,” a report released today by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness. “The unfortunate fact is that black families in the United States are much more likely to experience poverty than their white counterparts, and are overwhelmingly represented in homeless shelters throughout the country,” said ICPH President and CEO Ralph da Costa Nunez. “This report raises the question of how family homelessness has moved beyond simply a poverty issue and become a racial one.”
In 2010, nearly one-quarter (23.3%) of black families lived in poverty, three times the rate of white families (7.1%). Black persons in families make up 12.1% of the U.S. family population, but represented 38.8% of sheltered persons in families in 2010. In comparison, 65.8% of persons in families in the general population are white, while white family members only occupied 28.6% of family shelter beds in 2010.