Each night, volunteers prepare a meal for the guests at the shelter, and everyone eats together. Ari Daniel for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ari Daniel for NPR

Jennifer Carter, 30, stands in a dormitory area that she shares with her two young children at The Road Home Community Winter Shelter facility in Midvale, Utah. Cayce Clifford for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cayce Clifford for NPR

The Road Home is a private nonprofit social services agency that assists homeless individuals and families, in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Here, a view from outside. Cayce Clifford for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cayce Clifford for NPR

Homeless women prepare for a night spent on a street near Skid Row in Los Angeles, in May. Not every case of homelessness is so easy to spot as this, though; some groups say the Department of Housing and Urban Development numbers missed many people without stable housing. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Homeless people and their tents line a canal in Honolulu in June 2015. Hours after a city crew cleared the banks of the canal, the homeless people that had been living there moved right back to the riverside. Cathy Bussewitz/AP hide caption

toggle caption Cathy Bussewitz/AP

Pope Francis walks up the stairs at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to New York, after visiting Washington where he spoke to a joint meeting of Congress and ate lunch with some 300 homeless people. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Jordan McClellan gets help making lunch from daughter Kyra Brooks in their apartment in Southeast Washington, D.C. McClellan has been fighting homelessness for most of her adult life, living in family shelters and transitional housing until she was moved into the rapid rehousing program. Lexey Swall/GRAIN for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Lexey Swall/GRAIN for NPR

Homeless families outside a downtown Seattle shelter. John Ryan/KUOW hide caption

toggle caption John Ryan/KUOW

Tents are pitched illegally on a sidewalk in Seattle in January. The number of people sleeping outside in the city shot up by 20 percent in just the past year. David Ryder/Reuters/Landov hide caption

toggle caption David Ryder/Reuters/Landov

The city of Hollywood, Fla., bought the Homeless Voice shelter from its owner, a longtime advocate for the homeless who agreed to stay away from the city for the next 30 years. Greg Allen hide caption

toggle caption Greg Allen

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor