List of Largest Homeless Shelters & Cities With Most Homeless People

homeless people per county

Here is a list of some of the largest homeless shelters in the world. 

  1. City Rescue Mission - Oklahoma City, USA: This shelter provides emergency shelter and long-term recovery programs for the homeless. It has a capacity of over 300 beds.
  2. The Midnight Mission - Los Angeles, USA: Located in downtown Los Angeles, it is one of the largest homeless shelters in the United States, providing various services including emergency shelter, meals, and medical care.
  3. Bowery Mission - New York City, USA: This historic shelter has been serving the homeless since the late 1800s. It offers emergency shelter, meals, addiction recovery programs, and job training.
  4. Union Rescue Mission - Los Angeles, USA: It is one of the largest homeless shelters on the West Coast, providing emergency shelter, long-term recovery programs, and various support services.
  5. Pine Street Inn - Boston, USA: Pine Street Inn is a large homeless shelter in Boston that offers emergency shelter, transitional housing, and supportive services to help individuals find permanent housing.
  6. The Salvation Army Centre of Hope - Toronto, Canada: This shelter provides emergency housing and support services to homeless individuals and families. It has a capacity of over 500 beds.
  7. The Passage - London, UK: Located in London, The Passage is one of the largest homeless shelters in the UK, offering emergency shelter, support services, and a range of programs to help homeless individuals transition to stable housing.
  8. Simon Community - Dublin, Ireland: Simon Community operates several large shelters in Dublin, providing emergency accommodation and support services to homeless individuals and families.
  9. Koto no Kai - Tokyo, Japan: Koto no Kai is one of the largest homeless shelters in Tokyo, offering temporary accommodation, meals, and social support to people experiencing homelessness.
  10. Fred Jordan Mission - Los Angeles, USA: Situated in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, this shelter provides emergency shelter, meals, and other support services to homeless individuals.

These are just a few examples of large homeless shelters around the world. Many cities have numerous shelters and service providers working to support those experiencing homelessness.

The U.S. Cities With the Most Homeless People

According to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of homeless individuals in the United States slightly increased in 2020 and 2022, following a period of progress and decline. The 2021 figures were impacted by reduced shelter capacities due to the Covid-19 pandemic during the annual count conducted in the early months of the year. Currently, there are approximately 582,462 homeless individuals, with two-thirds of them residing in shelters. While the number of sheltered individuals in 2022 approached the pre-pandemic level of 2020, the overall increase in homelessness is primarily attributed to a rise in the unsheltered homeless population.

California houses around half of the unsheltered homeless population in the United States. The West Coast states also experience high rates of unsheltered homelessness, often leading to the formation of tent cities. The visibility of these encampments has caused division among communities, with some cities designating camping areas as a solution for the unsheltered population, while others have recently taken stricter measures against encampments. Examples of cities cracking down on encampments include Sacramento, San Jose, and Oakland.

The 50 largest cities in the United States and their surrounding areas accommodate half of the country's homeless population. Notably, New York and Los Angeles alone account for 22 percent of the homeless population, with New York having a relatively low rate of unsheltered individuals (5.4 percent in early 2022) due, in part, to different climates compared to California. In California, 67.3 percent of homeless individuals were reported as unsheltered during the same period.

The Continuums of Care (CoCs) for New York and Los Angeles, which are local planning bodies coordinating responses to homelessness, identified approximately 62,000 and 65,000 homeless individuals, respectively, in the early 2022 count. Other CoCs experiencing high levels of homelessness include Seattle/King County, with around 13,300 homeless individuals registered, and San Jose and Santa Clara in California, both with over 10,000 individuals. Out of the ten CoCs with the largest homeless populations in 2022, six were located in California.