Demographics of People Who Were Served

Understand the diversity of people served by the homelessness response system.

Using data submitted from California’s Continuums of Care (CoCs), HDIS captures detailed demographic information about people experiencing homelessness who have accessed services from local homelessness response systems.

Reliable data about the demographic characteristics of people being served will allow state and local governments to target and tailor resources to meet the diverse needs of people experiencing homelessness. Increases or reductions of people seeking services in certain demographic groups also helps the state evaluate where to best target resources and attention.

Interactive Statewide and CoC level Data

Racial Disparities Among People Experiencing Homelessness

Homelessness in California reflects stark racial inequities and the impacts of systemic racism. These inequities have resulted in disproportionate negative impacts for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in California. The number of people experiencing homelessness does not mirror the racial makeup of our state. Despite representing 5.6% of California’s total population, Black or African Americans represent 31% of those accessing homelessness services.

Rectifying the racial disparities that exist is central to solving homelessness because racism and homelessness are inextricably linked. The historic – and very current – causes of racial injustice and inequities in housing and homelessness, and the racially disparate impacts of housing instability and homelessness, are clear, stark, and even deadly. HCFC and its member agencies have committed to taking action to tackle this issue through the implementation of HCFC’s Action Plan for Preventing and Ending Homelessness in California.

Interactive Statewide and CoC level Data

Data Sources and Notes

Homeless Data Integration System (HDIS). HDIS includes Federally-required data collected from all service providers that participate in CoCs’ local Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS). However, not all providers participate in HMIS. Independent providers that do not receive Federal funding or certain State funding can opt out of participation in local HMIS. Dedicated domestic violence victim service providers are barred by Federal law from entering their clients’ data into HMIS and maintain separate data systems. Some permanent housing programs for veterans are also captured in a separate data system from HMIS. Additionally, not all people experiencing homelessness are captured in HDIS. People experiencing homelessness who do not access services are not captured in local HMIS or HDIS. Certain unaccompanied youth providers may not be allowed to share complete client data with HDIS.