The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releases the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) in two parts. Part 1 provides Point-In-Time (PIT) estimates, offering a snapshot of homelessness—both sheltered and unsheltered— on a single night. The one-night counts are conducted during the last 10 days of January each year. The PIT counts also provide an estimate of the number of people experiencing homelessness within particular homeless populations, such as people with chronic patterns of homelessness and veterans experiencing homelessness. To understand our nation’s capacity to serve people who are currently or formerly experiencing homelessness, this report also provides counts of beds in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, safe havens, rapid re-housing programs, permanent supportive housing programs, and other permanent housing.
In 2018, the PIT estimates of people experiencing homelessness in sheltered and unsheltered locations, as well as the number of beds available to serve them, were reported by 398 Continuums of Care (CoC) nationwide. These 398 CoCs covered virtually the entire United States. To better understand how homelessness differs by geography, the AHAR study team categorized CoCs into four groups:
1. Major city CoCs
2. Other largely urban CoCs
3. Largely suburban CoCs
4. Largely rural CoCs