The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is pleased to present the 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), the fourth in a series of reports on homelessness in the United States. The reports respond to a series of Congressional directives calling for the collection and analysis of data on homelessness. The 2008 AHAR breaks new ground by being the first report to provide year-to-year trend information on homelessness in the United States. The report provides the latest counts of homelessness nationwide—including counts of individuals, persons in families, and special population groups such as veterans and chronically homeless people. The report also covers the types of locations where people use emergency shelter and transitional housing; where people were just before they entered a residential program; how much time they spend in shelters over the course of a year; and the size and use of the U.S inventory of residential programs for homeless people. This AHAR also is the first to compare Point-in-Time estimates reported by Continuums of Care across several years.