Creating More Beds for the Homeless

Team Members: Gary Burnett, Phillip Graham, Katie Marlowe

Finished Map

The data say that states that have a higher ratio of beds for the homeless to the amount of homeless people more frequently had a decrease in the number of homeless people from 2014-2015.

We want to tell this story because the homelessness epidemic is a big problem. There are 564,708 homeless people in the United States, and transitional housing is helping to lower this number.

This data would be presented at a convention about ending the homelessness epidemic, so our audience would be people attending the convention, who are most likely eager to help this issue. Our goal is to tell them that transitional housing can help be part of the solution, so that we can build support for transitional housing.

When looking at the data, we found that states with a decrease in homeless population tended to have more transitional housing. Specifically, they had a higher ratio of beds available to the number of homeless people.

There were, of course, some outliers. South Dakota had an increase in the homeless population by 17%, whereas no other state had an increase more than 10%, and they also have a high ratio of beds for the homeless. In general, the states in the North East also tended to not fit the trend. New York and New Hampshire both have a high ratio of beds, but had an increase in their homeless population.

We decided that a map would be a good representation for this data for a couple of reasons. First of all, this would be displayed at convention where a lot of people would walk by and look at it, so a map is an easy way for someone to locate their home state and see how they stack up to other states. It is also nice to see how different geographic regions compare. As stated earlier, the North East does not exactly fit the trend that most of the rest of the country follows. The South has, for the most part, seen a significant decrease in their homeless population, where the West Coast has seen a decent increase in their homeless population.