Homeless Demographics

It is no secret that marginalized communities are impacted more severely by issues of homelessness
than the general population. People of color especially are often more likely to experience homelessness,
we can trace the roots of this far back to red lining and the Albina district but in 2018 we can connect
rates of homelessness with gentrification. Ethnically diverse neighborhoods are often, if not always, the
hot spots for gentrification which brings with it higher rent and kicks many long time residents to the
street.
Image via The Oregonian

Between 2015 and 2017 the rent in Portland rose 20 times faster than the median income - this makes

it difficult for the average person to maintain regular housing let alone individuals dependent on
disability or social security payments (Harbarger). The homeless population in Portland is estimated to
be 40% people of color despite Multnomah County’s statistics as a whole reflecting 20% being of color.
Additionally, women on the streets are usually victims of domestic abuse. These communities are
vulnerable to the issue of homelessness, but the increase in specialty shelters (veterans shelters,
women's shelters, etc.) have decreased the number of people sleeping in the street.


These numbers reflect the crisis in Portland, but similar statistics can be seen throughout major U.S.
cities. There needs to be more done to help protect vulnerable populations from losing housing.


For more information and statistics, please look here: