A homeless man walks in front of a painting of US actor James Cagney on a closed souvenirs shop on Hollywood Boulevard.
On any given night 754,000 people across the United States are homeless, according to a new government study on the problem released Wednesday.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in its first study of the scope of the national homelessness problem in 23 years, said that its "snapshot" study based on a three-month period in 2005 showed that two-thirds of the homeless population are men, 16 percent are women, 59 percent are ethnic minorities, 41 percent are in the 31-50 age range and 21 percent are children.
It also said that nearly one in five of the adult homeless aremilitary veterans.
However, Philip Mangano, executive director of the United States Interagency Council of Homelessness, said that the snapshot survey does not represent the full extent of homelessness across the country.
"There is a divergence of opinion among researchers about the number of people who are experiencing homelessness in the course of a year," Mangano said.
"Some say it might be as high as one percent of the US population (three million people); others say it might be as high as two million."