The United States could see its homeless population increase by 40% to 45% this year, according to an analysis by an economics professor at Columbia University.
The report was published by Community Solutions, a nonprofit organization to end homelessness.
More than 800,000 Americans will experience homelessness by this summer if it follows unemployment trends -- the way it did in the earlier part of the century, said Professor Brendan O'Flaherty, also a former aide to Newark Mayor Kenneth Gibson.
"This is unprecedented. No one living has seen an increase of 10% unemployment in a month," he said in the report, citing the current unemployment rate of 14.7%.
"If the projections of unemployment being made now turn out to be accurate, and the relationship between unemployment and homelessness follows the historical pattern, and no other major changes occur, that's what we can expect to happen."
How he calculated this analysis: O'Flaherty made this projection using data on homelessness and unemployment from 2007 to 2009. According to the report, it found that for every 1% increase in the unemployment rate, homelessness per 10,000 people increased by 0.65.
The baseline number of people experiencing homelessness was drawn from the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, and his model drew on projections for unemployment published by the Economic Policy Institute, according to the report.