Up to 800,000 Americans are homeless on any given night. Each year, 2.3 to 3.5 million people (about 1% of the population) experience homelessness.
It is difficult to determine how many homeless people have disabilities due to mental disorders. Based on reviews of more than 160 homeless studies, the Federal Task Force on Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness estimated that at least one-third of homeless people have severe mental illness.
In a national survey of adults using homeless services, 75%* reported mental health or substance abuse problems. About 15% reported mental health problems only, 31% reported a combination of mental health and substance abuse problems and 29% reported substance abuse problems only.
Source: Burt (2001); U.S. Bureau of the Census (1996); Federal Task Force on Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness (1992); Policy Research Associates (1997)
Surveys: National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients, 1996