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Homelessness in North Carolina


Homelessness in NC

Who is Homeless

10-Year Plans to End Homelessness

Interagency Council for Coordinating Homeless Programs (ICCHP)

Emergency Shelter Grants

Continuum of Care - U.S. HUD Funding

Publications and Reports



Who is homeless?

Among the homeless are people mostly in urban areas who are literally homeless on the streets or in shelters and people who face eviction within a week from a private dwelling or institution and who have no subsequent residence or resources to obtain housing. In rural areas, which typically lack an urban-style homeless services infrastructure, homeless people are likely to live with relatives in overcrowded or substandard housing. A lack of decent, affordable housing underlies both urban and rural homelessness.

How many are homeless?

The N.C. Interagency Council for Coordinating Homeless Programs (ICCHP) sponsors an annual point-in-time survey each January. The survey was conducted in more than 55 counties. It provides a conservative, but defensible, unduplicated count of people who were homeless in our state on one given night.

The 2008 survey found:

  • 12,371 people identified as homeless, including
  • 3,643 people in families, 2,216 of whom were children.
  • 1,054 identified themselves as veterans of military service.
  • 1,961 identified themselves as having a serious mental illness.
  • 4,206 identified themselves as having a substance use disorder.
  • 1,108 identified themselves as being a victim of domestic violence.
  • 6.5 percent of people identified themselves as having been released from the criminal justice system.
  • 6 percent of people identified themselves as having been released from a mental health hospital or drug treatment program.

The count continues to be a critical step in quantifying the size and scope of homelessness in North Carolina, and in measuring the success of measures aimed at reducing homelessness in our state.

Both the point-in-time count and Emergency Shelter Grant annual reports document the prevalence of disabilities among homeless people. Approximately 30 percent to 40 percent of homeless people are known to have mental illness, and an even higher percentage suffer from addiction disorders. Another factor reported from both sources is domestic violence, with approximately 10 percent of all homeless people, and a much higher rate among families having a history of domestic violence.


Last Modified: January 28, 2011