An estimated 350,500 people work in the homeless services sector, spanning crisis response to supportive housing roles. Many, particularly frontline workers, face a gap between their salary and what they need to make to afford housing. Without these investments, staffing challenges will continue to grow worse, and will exacerbate the current homelessness and housing crisis across the United States.
This effort will require substantial and sustained commitments from all levels of government and philanthropy. However, it is essential to the work of preventing and ending homelessness.
New Estimates Suggest that $4.8 Billion is Needed to Bring Homeless Services Salaries into the Modern Era
This paper uses estimates of the size and salaries of the homeless services sector workforce from the 2021 report by Dennis Culhane & Seongho An, “Estimated Revenue of the Nonprofit Homeless Shelter ‘Industry’ in the United States: Implications for a More Comprehensive Approach to Unmet Shelter Demand” published in Housing Policy Debate. Projections of the current size of the workforce are based on the 2022 Housing Inventory Count.