Jan 22, 2024 - News

Broken relationships leading to homelessness, new report finds

Brandon Hughes walks with his belongings at a homeless encampment in Denver. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Deteriorating relationships with families and romantic partners is the leading cause of homelessness in metro Denver, according to recent findings by the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative.

Why it matters: The State of Homelessness 2023 report offers a comprehensive look at homelessness throughout the region, showing its growing impact across communities.

What they're saying: Costs and difficulty finding other housing options after a breakup are the main reasons why people may end up unhoused, Cathy Alderman, a spokesperson and public policy officer for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, tells us.

  • "We hear that from people all the time," Alderman says. "It's very expensive to have to move."
  • Alderman said people in the LGBTQ community are especially vulnerable to losing housing due to strained relationships.

Between the lines: The report also notes an inability to pay rent or a mortgage as the second-most common factor leading to homelessness.

The big picture: More than 30,400 people across seven metro area counties, including Denver, Adams and Arapahoe, used homelessness services between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.

  • Men made up more than half of the people seeking services (64%) while African Americans and Indigenous residents made up a disproportionate amount of people experiencing homelessness.
  • First-time homelessness is rising, with 44% of people surveyed saying this was the case.

Of note: The report notes 94% of respondents said they didn't choose to be homeless, while 88% of unhoused people were already living in the state.

What's next: The annual point-in-time count is scheduled to begin at sundown Monday.

Go deeper: Federal data shows sharp rise in homelessness in Denver


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