12 Must-Know Facts about Women and Homelessness

  1. Among industrial nations, the US has the largest number of homeless women and the highest number on record since the Great Depression. 1
  2. An estimated 50% of all homeless people are women. 2
  3. Up to 92% of homeless women have experienced severe sexual or physical assault at some point in their lives. 3
  4. 57% of homeless women cite sexual or domestic violence as the direct cause of their homelessness. 1
  5. 63% have been victims of violence from an intimate partner. 3
  6. 32% have been assaulted by their current or most recent partner. 3 

  7. 50% of homeless women experience a major depressive episode after becoming homeless. 1
  8. Homeless women have three times the normal rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 1
  9. Homeless women are twice as likely to have drug and alcohol dependencies. 1
  10. Homeless women between 18 to 44 years old are 5 to 31 times more likely to die than women in the general population. 4
  11. Homeless women in their mid-fifties are as physiologically aged as housed women in their seventies. 1
  12. Victims of domestic violence experience major barriers in obtaining and maintaining housing and often return to their abusers because they cannot find long-term housing. 5




1. Colorado Coalition for the Homeless: http://www.coloradocoalition.org/!userfiles/TheCharacteristicsofHomelessWomen_lores3.pdf

2. Homeless Women & Children: The Problem and the Solution http://voices.yahoo.com/homeless-women-children-problem-solution-368646.html

3. National Alliance to end Homelessness http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/domestic_violence

4. Homelessness in the United States: History, Epidemiology, Health Issues, Women, and Public Policy Med Scape http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/481800 

5. A. Correia, Housing and Battered Women: A Case Study of Domestic Violence Programs in Iowa (Harrisburg: National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, 1999) accessed via "The Dangerous Shortage of Domestic Violence Services"