What is Homelessness?keys

Homelessness is when a family or person does not have a stable, safe place to live. This means they may spend nights in shelters, transitional housing, limited-stay hotels or motels, in a car, “couch surfing,” or on the streets. This definition blends the voices of Coloradans who have experienced homelessness with the HUD definition.

It’s difficult to locate and count people in unstable and changing housing situations, making it nearly impossible to know the full extent of homelessness. Still, information from the annual Point-In-Time Report (a one night count of people staying in shelters and on the streets in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties), the Colorado Department of Education, a recent public opinion poll on Metro Denver residents’ awareness and views on homelessness, and other reliable data sources tell us a lot.

The CLOSE TO HOME Speaker’s Bureau can work with you to provide speakers with personal experience of homelessness and information about the CLOSE TO HOME campaign for your event or group discussion. To learn more, contact Stevi Gray at sgray@ccadv.org or 303-832-7067.

The number of school-aged children and youth in Metro Denver who were known to be homeless during the 2014-2015 school year was 14,969. These numbers have increased 322% in the past ten years.

Number of People Experiencing Homelessness

On one winter night in 2016, 5,467 men, women, and children were found in shelters and on the streets in Metro Denver. This count, from the 2016 Point-In-Time report, does not include the individuals and families staying in motels, sleeping in their cars, couch surfing, or hiding to remain safe.


13% of the individuals experiencing homelessness in Metro Denver said they were military veterans.



Nearly half of all people experiencing homelessness in Metro Denver are families and children.

Domestic Violence

6% of the adults and children experiencing homelessness in Metro Denver said the cause was domestic violence.



Over one-quarter of people experiencing homelessness in Metro Denver reported they or someone in their family had income from a job in the past month.


Cost of Homelessness


Cost of Housing

It costs Colorado taxpayers $43,240 per year for each individual experiencing chronic homelessness to cover costs ranging from emergency health care to legal issues. Providing affordable, supportive housing to these individuals costs $11,694 per person.

Make homelessness history in Colorado.

Learn more about actions you can take to make a difference.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This