The most recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows that most Americans think homelessness is a big problem that has become worse over the last two years.
87 percent of people who answered the nationwide poll said they thought homelessness was a big problem. Sixteen percent of those people say the problem is very bad. Nine percent say that homelessness is not a big problem.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, commonly referred to as HUD, says that there were 582,000 homeless people in 2022, which is 18 out of every 10,000 Americans and an increase of 2,000 individuals since 2020.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness says that the number of homeless people in the U.S. has gone up by about 6% since 2017.
The problem got worse more quickly in 2023.
Over 577,000 Americans are homeless right now, according to data looked at and released by the Wall Street Journal in August. This is a worrisome 11% rise from the same time a year ago.
The story said that the rise “would be by far the most significant rise ever recorded since the government began keeping track of similar numbers in 2007.”
“The next biggest jump was 2.7% in 2019 if you take out the artificially high jump this past year caused by counting problems during the pandemic,” it said.
Rasmussen found that most people across all party groups think homelessness has become a very big problem. For example, 64% of Republicans, 62% of independents, and 57% of Democrats all agreed.
There is also a small majority in the Rasmussen study that says homelessness should be the duty of each local government. About 36% say the problem should be handled by local governments, while 30% say it should be a federal problem. 16 percent say they aren’t sure.
At 40%, Democrats think the federal government should be handling the problem, which is not a surprise. This is in contrast to the 22% of Republicans and the 26% of independents who believe that the federal government should handle homelessness.
Women are more inclined than men to believe that the states need to be in charge of helping people who are homeless (39% vs. 32%).
When it comes to local duty, 41% of Republicans, 39% of independents, and 28% of Democrats say that the problem should be handled by the state government.
A lot of people also think that things are getting worse. 77% of Republicans say it’s gotten worse in the past two years. 46% of Democrats and 71% of Americans who don’t belong to either party think that things have gotten worse.