The number one cause of homelessness is a lack of affordable housing. Once a person becomes homeless keeping or getting a job becomes much more difficult. There are camps all over the city where people live in tents even in the winter.
There was and maybe still is a large homeless camp just below the cathedral along the freeway.
There are camps in the woods along the river unless the river floods. There are abandoned sleeping bags, tents, and clothing in parks and near the camps. Sometimes people camp at the boat landing near downtown.
According to a report and action plan from the Interagency Council on homelessness, there are some groups of people who are more likely to become homeless than others and the number of people who are 55 and older who are homeless is rising rapidly along with the number of young people who are homeless. There are disparities based on race and people become homeless as a result of domestic violence. You can find the report here.
Here are some statistics from the Interagency Council on Homelessness
As housing costs continue to rise faster than wages the problem may grow. Home builders have been saying for years that they can not build affordable housing and make a profit. Most new construction housing is very expensive.
I am not sure if it is the answer but we lack micro apartments and of course, local zoning laws prohibit tiny houses.