The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released a report evaluating the scope of homelessness in America. The first report of its kind in more than 20 years, HUD’s "Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress" estimates than 754,000 people nationwide live in emergency shelter, transitional housing, or on the streets on any given night. In California, the homeless population contains an estimated 188,300 people, including more than 24,000 veterans and more than 17,700 children under the age of 18.

"Understanding homelessness is a necessary step to ending it, especially for those persons living with a chronic condition such as mental illness, an addiction, or a physical disability," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. According to the report, 65 percent of the adult homeless population are men, 41 percent are between 31 and 50 years of age, and 75 percent are in central cities.