Homelessness doesn’t have a certain look. You may or may not notice the men, women and children who are struggling with homelessness. They may be sleeping in their car, or on a friend’s couch. Perhaps they’re living temporarily with their parents, or in a motel room. Maybe they’ve found emergency shelter.

In Raleigh and Wake County, homelessness is increasing 8% each year. With over 5,500 individuals seeking homeless services, 70% of those are considered homeless due to a recent situation in their lives.

Homelessness doesn’t just happen. There are underlying causes. Many who are homeless have experienced trauma, domestic violence, family tragedy, job loss, addiction or health issues. Read more about the ongoing affects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how they relate to homelessness.

Individuals Homeless
Over
5,500
Individuals Homeless
Seeking Services
Children Homeless
Over
3,400
Children Homeless
Attending Wake Schools
Individuals in Poverty
Over
99,400
Individuals in Poverty
at risk of being homeless

Homelessness in Raleigh and Wake County is rising. As Raleigh and surrounding towns are experiencing prosperity, this growth has driven up housing costs, and it’s estimated that we are losing between 400 and 550 affordable housing units every year. About one-fourth of households in our area are spending more than they can afford for housing, and some reports predict that the number of low-income families who need affordable housing is expected to rise by up to 3,700 per year. Single mothers with children represent more than half of those needing access to affordable housing.

Homelessness among Wake County Public School students is rising significantly. According to recent data from the Wake County Public School System, the number of homeless children and youth in our school system has increased a mind-numbing 56 percent in the past seven years. Additionally, the numbers are increasing more rapidly – a whopping 27 percent in the past two years.

Hear Our Clients Stories

  • What seemed too good to be true indeed turned out to be too good to be true.
    Our New Life Plan is helping him turn things around
    Greg's Story
  • After 24 years in the military, Ivan found himself Homeless
    Ivan needed help when he could not cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.
    Ivan's Story
  • From homeless as a child to Biomolecular Engineer Graduate
    Alexandra came to the Mission as 9-year old child with her mother.
    Alexandra’s Story
  • April needed a new beginning and new life for her and her children.
    Raleigh Rescue Mission's New Life Plan offered all the support she needed to begin again.
    April's Story
  • At 60 years old, she unexpectedly was jobless and struggling to pay rent
    God led her to Raleigh Rescue Mission, just in time for Thanksgiving.
    Brenda's Story
  • Felix's mother chose her abuser over her own children.
    Because of support from friends like you, Felix took life and job-skills classes from the Mission, and found work during the night shift at a nursing home.
    Felix's Story
  • Ila grew up in poverty that’s hard to imagine
    The legacy of this kind of deprivation during childhood is often dropping out of school, having children young and passing on the suffering of poverty to the next generation.
    Ila's Story
  • Growing up in foster care, she became the next generation of homelessness
    Thanks to caring friends like you, Lisa and her baby found food, shelter and life-changing hope at Raleigh Rescue Mission
    Lisa's Story
  • She could no longer afford rent or find a living wage job.
    She walked aimlessly for hours, her baby held tightly in her arms, her daughters jumping at every little noise.
    Sheryl's Story