2023’s official homelessness count for Alaska shows 49th state is not as bad as blue states

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According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual count of homeless individuals, Alaska had 2,614 people experiencing homelessness in January of 2023. That amounts to one-third of one percent of all Alaskans. About 1,700 of the homeless are said to be in Anchorage, many having arrived from villages around Alaska to access homelessness services.

Alaska had the lowest rate of families experiencing homelessness, and one of the lowest rates for unaccompanied youth who were homeless. Only 119 veterans in Alaska were homeless, also a low number compared to the rest of the country.

Most of the homelessness in the country is found in Democrat-run states, such as California, Oregon, and New York.

Other facts from the annual HUD report to Congress on homelessness in America:

  • – More than half of all people experiencing homelessness in the country were in four states: California (28% of all people experiencing homelessness in the U.S, or 181,399 people); New York (16% or 103,200 people); Florida (5% or 30,756 people); and Washington (4% or 28,036 people).
  • – California accounted for 49 percent of all unsheltered people in the country (123,423 people). This is nearly eight times the number of unsheltered people in the state with the next highest number, Florida. In the 2023 point-in-time count, Florida reported 15,482 people or just six percent of the national total of people in unsheltered locations.
  • – States with very high rates of overall experiences of homelessness included New York, Vermont, Oregon, and California, with 52, 51, 48, and 46 people experiencing homelessness for every 10,000 people in the state. In the District of Columbia, a single city, 73 of every 10,000 people were experiencing homelessness.
  • – While Florida and Texas contributed large numbers of people experiencing homelessness to the national count, they continued to have rates of homelessness lower than the national average of 18 people per 10,000 (14 for every 10,000 people in Florida and 9 for every 10,000 people in Texas).
  • – States in the West reported some of the highest percentages of all people experiencing homelessness in who were counted in unsheltered locations. In California, 68 percent of people experiencing homelessness did so outdoors. Other states with more than half of their total population of people experiencing homelessness counted in unsheltered locations were: Oregon (65%), Hawaii (63%), Arizona (54%), Nevada (53%), Arkansas (51%), and Florida (50%).
  • – Two states sheltered at least 95 percent of people experiencing homelessness: Vermont (96%) and New York (95%).
  • – Continuing the upward trend over the past seven years, the total number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in 2023 has reached the highest count observed since reporting began in 2007.
  • – The total number of people experiencing sheltered homelessness in 2023 (396,494 people) is the highest observed estimate since 2014 (401,051 people).
  • – Between 2022 and 2023, the total number of people experiencing homelessness increased by 70,642 people (or 12%). The overall increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness between 2022 and 2023 reflects both a sharp increase in the number of people experiencing sheltered homelessness, which increased by 47,864 people (or 14%), and increases in the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, which increased by 22,778 people (or 10%) over the last year.
  • – Nearly 4 of every 10 people experiencing homelessness identified as Black, African American, or African (37% or 243,624 people). A higher percentage of people in shelter identified as Black (45% or 176,325 people) compared to people experiencing homelessness in unsheltered locations (26% or 67,299).
  • – Half of all people experiencing homelessness identified as White (50% or 324,854 people). A higher share of the unsheltered population identified as White (57%) than the sheltered population (45%).

25 COMMENTS

  1. We are a blue state.

    Saying our homeless situation isn’t as bad as the rest of the blue states is like saying we’re the smartest person in the special Ed class.

    • Yep, also doesn’t mean we don’t need to worry about doing anything about it. Only the diagnosed mentally ill persons(small percentage) need to be cared for. All others should be arrested, jailed/punished. Can be put to work if they don’t want to get a job on their own. Druggies can be put in dry-out homes as well as alcoholics.

  2. So(!!!), based on simple math, one should be able to look at the total amount of expenditures ($$$), then divide by 2,614 people, and this should clearly tell us Taxpayers what it’s costing us Taxpayers for each of the homeless.
    ……
    Can we claim a tax deduction for these systemic and never-ending Homeless?
    ……
    As we certainly witness the very same Homeless individuals in intersections throughout Anchorage everyday, most of the time they’re clearly Stoned and Drunk begging for money and urinating – defecating all over the place and clearly breaking the vagrancy laws, shouldn’t we expect the abundance of IRS Agents to be Taxing these systemic and never-ending Homeless individuals?
    ……
    When do the Homeless take accountability for themselves, get themselves cleaned up, and become a productive member of our community?
    ……
    What is “The Plan” to rectify this growing Homelessness problem in Anchorage? What is the projected timeline to meet meaningful milestones of improvement? What is the cost going to be to us Taxpayers?

    • one thing I would like to know, what % of these homeless people actually had an established residence in anchorage for 1yr or more and what percentage are say seasonal workers from the states and what % are just problem residence from Matsu, Kenai peninsula and the many villages around the state. people are incentivized to be homeless in places like ANC and JNU they get enough to be able to not have a job while feeding their addiction and to serious addict and the mentally ill this is enough. There are plenty of resources being spent that with a little effort anyone who doesn’t want to be homeless in Anchorage isn’t.

    • How about looking into the funds the city of Anchorage gets from Feds in all forms of grants . You’ll find that they are literally administrating millions of dollars per year in the city government for these programs . Interesting to note that the homeless are being fed cheerios and milk in shelters in downtown Anchorage . It’s a joke how all this money comes in and very little gets to the folks that need it .

      Someone will call BS on this and I’ll be attacked . Show me all the money that is coming in for these folks and how it’s administrated . Homeless should be living in the Captain Cook dining on steak and lobster every night in the Crow’s Nest .

      As in all poorly managed cities in the US , the larger the Homeless ( Houseless ) , the larger the city govt .

      San Fransisco received $2 billion dollars in 2020 for the 7,200 homeless living on 41 blocks in SF . They can’t find the money or how it was administrated ? Yep !

      • EXACTLY Correct Dan! You and I both worked for an organization that could drill-down into specific project finances on a weekly basis so as to clearly identify inefficiencies – waste. No different here as we should be auditing – studying – scrutinizing city finances as it pertains to the true cost of Homelessness, holding our elected leaders accountable, demanding responsible action – performance.
        ……
        We may not be able to incentivize the majority of the Homeless (certainly those that don’t want to improve) but, we can certainly turn-up the heat on these elected officials!
        ……
        Afterall, we certainly don’t want to become the likes of other failed cities such as: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles! If we don’t take control and ‘manage’ these elected officials then, we’re heading in the same direction.

    • Rob B, with respect, the answers to your questions are blindingly obvious.
      .
      1. Very little money allocated to homeless goes to homeless. Rather, most goes to career bureaucrats and functionaries in the social-services inustrial complex.
      .
      2. The money government spends on homelessness does not show up on your Form 1040 so you do not get to deduct it. The IRS will never chase homeless or poor people; that would be akin to drilling a non-producing well; the IRS is looking for producing wells.
      .
      3. Most, not all, homeless will never take accountability and become productive members of the community. Their career plan is to live off the productive working people. Most, not all, have no intention of reforming. Most, not all, do not tolerate rules… which is why most, not all, are homeless.
      .
      4. Our government has endless “plans” to “rectify” the “growing homeless problem.” They will all fail. Jesus, the Christ, said, “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” –John 12:8. Numerous other scripture verses make it our responsibility to share our blessings with the poor. However, nowhere does the scripture allow us to delegate that responsibility to our incompetent government. Only fools believe they can ignore the Word of Yahweh.

      • So, based on a quick … “Root-Cause-Analysis,” the Federal Guv’ment is once again the common denominator to this morass.

    • “Can we claim a tax deduction for these systemic and never-ending Homeless?”
      Perfect example of an idiotic question!

  3. Avenger: While I agree with you completely, what the author knows is that sadly, most of that ‘special ed class’ is going to take that headline as gospel.

  4. Anchorage, where most of the homelessness and dysfunctional living is apparent, is pretty bright blue. Juneau as well, and Fairbanks is maybe, periwinkle. Besides the enabling with zero expectancy that is characteristic of the left, other variables are mental health, addiction, and family erosion. The later aided and abetted by the left, whom place little value upon the traditional family or marriage. Keep them dumb, drugged, and dependent but make sure they vote, or are at least registered to vote so someone else can cast their vote.

  5. I am not sure what we are supposed to take away from this article. On the one hand, it contains useful information about Alaska’s homeless population. But I don’t think comparing homelessness in red states vs blue states is all that informative. My understanding is that some of the homeless will always be struggling, due to mental illness or substance abuse. Some of the homeless are unable to afford housing. The latter seems to be particularly true in cities like Seattle and San Francisco, which saw tremendous spikes in housing costs as a result of dot.com companies opening facilities in those cities that brought tens of thousands of young, well paid workers into those markets over the past decade. Is the fact that Alaska does not have a vibrant economy, such that we have been losing workers who have been leaving the state over the past decade, something to celebrate? Would it be better to have a booming economy and thus less affordable housing here?

    • Your identification of the logical conundrum that both a shrinking economy and a growing economy end up in more homelessness is revealing. Do not be deceived. The housing problem has nothing to do with the economy. Rather, it has everything to do with government over-regulation of the free market. It is illegal to build apartments in most residential areas of most cities. Most urban property is zoned primarily for single-family structures only. These regulations result in higher-cost housing overall and homelessness in the end.

      • I don’t believe the homeless problem is related to housing issues in Anchorage . Has a lot to do with folks from the villages coming in for the summer and just plain camping out close to cheap liquor and smokes . I saw more homeless in Anchorage this summer than ever . Common that most were villagers . We have same issue in Fbks . U can can rent a dry cabin Fbks for $600 and eat healthy off of welfare .

        Oh and thanks Anchorage for busing the hobos up ? Are you kidding me ? You folks sent three bus loads of these free loading , drug addicted , drunks and vagrants up . WTF ! That’s total B.S.

  6. Interesting fun fact, that only 119 homeless ever served in the military. Seems to be a large number of panhandling using the Vet card. Always suspected this was the case. I would always be willing to give a real veteran a hand up but not a hand out. Funny I have never had the opportunity, since most of them have more dignity. Plus other organizations that can help with rehabilitation if necessary.

  7. In addition, the demographics of the homeless population is a closely guarded secret from the taxpayer. How can you expect to cure a problem if you don’t know what the cause is? Is it drugs, untreated mental illness, dumping of undesirables for a cheap airfare, lack of job opportunities, and what are the numbers? Obviously what the assembly has been doing does nothing but grow the problem. Hard to believe that isn’t their goal.

  8. Take all the money dedicated to enabling homelessness and buy some graders, hire some operators and plow the fricken roads! Now that’s good use of tax dollars.

  9. Put the Alaska Fish & Game in charge the homeless population in Anchorage . In the interior of Alaska , namely the Tanana Flats the moose population has been managed to nearly zero under their management .

  10. In Florida there is an acceleration of perceived literary into an overpopulated prison system through underapplucation of Constitutional “protections. If foreign interests wanted to abrade America’s economic strength the element of delimiting Constitutional rights is a large piece of any invasion. Meanwhile in actual civil societies as annotated in the International Law of Nations legal theorists espouse a legal truism that rights never die. We can and should go on claiming our non-extinct rights under the Magna Carta. Rights can never die.

  11. The auto correct changes words for some people’s comments. I never typed the word literary in the above comment. In compound sentences you can’t back up to correct and word salad is all you have for a comment.

  12. In Florida there is a huge horrible migration of people perceived to be loitering who are commanded to show ID. If they cannot or will not show ID with an address the uniform wearers engage them and scuffle them off to imprisonment because the badged uniform wearers do not have adequate Constitutional rights training or the badged uniformed were poor students regarding RAS at their academies.

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