Most homeless Americans have a job—often more than one.
Studies show that 24 the majority of American adults experiencing homelessness are employed. In New York, long-term studies 25 have found close to half of single adults and nearly 40% of families in homeless shelters earn income from employment. In fact, many of our unhoused neighbors have shared stories of working multiple part-time or odd jobs at once while still being unable to find stable housing.
This is known as being “under-employed,” or having one or more jobs that still do not add up to a living wage, while working so much that you do not have the time or ability to find higher-paying or more consistent work. Living in a homeless shelter can exacerbate the problem—for example, many facilities have curfews, which makes it difficult to maintain an evening or overnight job, or to work late hours at a job that requires a long commute.