Who are the homeless in Idaho?

Ready for the Cold Front by Rotifer.
Family by Boise Rescue Mission

Using definitions from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, an unsheltered homeless person resides in a place not meant for human habitation – a vehicle or on the streets – or in temporary tents, encampments, and warming centers. A sheltered homeless person resides in an emergency shelter, transitional housing, or supportive housing for homeless persons who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters1.

  • On January 28, 2015, there were 1,966 homeless men, women and children in Idaho.1  Of those counted:
    • 24% were unsheltered
    • 60% were single individuals or members of adult-only households
    • 40% were in households with children
    • 484 were children (under 18), including 69 unsheltered children
    • 17% were veterans
  • The top three situations leading to homelessness include unemployment (50%), inability to find affordable housing (38%), and eviction/inability to pay rent (25%).
  • The top three circumstances that prevent people from finding housing include unemployment (51%), inability to find affordable housing (46%), and disability (21%).
  • The largest percentage of Idaho’s homeless live in Ada County (38.4%), followed by the five northern counties (21.8%).


  1. Idaho Housing and Finance Association (2015)
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