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Homelessness in the US

In 2000, 11.3% of the US ... 31.3 million people, lived in poverty. Here's the most current ... on ... the US. For ways to help, scroll down.1. Since 2000, the number of people

In 2000, 11.3% of the US population, 31.3 million people, lived in poverty. Here's the most current information on homelessin the US. For ways to help, scroll down.

1. Since 2000, the number of people living in extreme poverty has increased.

2.According to the 2003 report from the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta are the top five “meanest” cities in the US for poor and homeless people to live in; California is the “meanest” state, followed by Florida.

3.Examples?

”In Milwaukee, a church has been declared a public nuisance for feeding homeless people and allowing them to sleep there.

In Gainesville, police threatened U. of Florida students with arrest if they did not stop serving meals to homeless people in a public park.

In Santa Barbara, it is illegal to lean against the front of a building or a store, and no one can park a motor home on the street in one place for more than two hours.”

4.Families with children are by far the fastest-growing sector of the homeless population.

Children alone compose about 39% of the homeless.

5.In the median state, a minimum-wage worker would have to work 89 hours a week to afford a 2-bedroom apartment at 30% of his or her income, which is the federal definition of affordable housing (National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2001).

6.For the disabled, in 1998, on a national average, someone receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) had to spend 69% of their monthly income to rent a 1-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent.

7.Loss of single room occupancy housing (SRO) exacerbates the problem. From 1970-mid 80s, an estimated one million SRO units were demolish (Dolbeare, 1996).

New York City lost 87% of its $200 a month or less SRO. Chicago experienced total elimination of cubicle hotels. By 1985, Los Angeles lock more than half its downtown SRO. San Francisco lost 43%, Portland lost 59% and Denver lost 64%. [Data is here: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/causes.html]

8.Approximately 22% of the single adult homeless suffers from some form of severe and persistent mental illness (US Conference of Mayors, 2001).

9.“The relationship between addiction and homelessness is complex and controversial,” says the NCH.

Rates of alcohol and drug abuse are disproportionately high among the homeless but can’t account for the rise in numbers. However addiction does increase the risk of displacement “for the precariously housed.”

10.What’s called “eroding work opportunities” contributes.

According to the NCH, contributing factors to homeless are “a steep drop in the number and bargaining power of unionized workers; erosion in the value of the minimum wage; a decline in manufacturing jobs and the corresponding expansion of lower-paying service-sector employment; globalization; and increased nonstandard work, such as temporary and part-time (Mishel, Bernstein, and Schnitt, 1999)”.

Source: National Homeless Organization,HUD, National Coalition for the Homeless, and the Mayors' Report.

If you would like to help, go here: http://nch.ari.net/local/local.html to find local service providers.

Go here http://www.hud.gov/volunteering/index.cfm to find national and federal volunteer opportunities.

Go here: http://www.hud.gov/organizing/index.cfm to find out about becoming a community organizer.

©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach™, http://www.susandunn.cc . Susan was formerly the Director of Development for a Homeless Shelter. She resides in San Antonio, TX and writes on various topics. She offers coaching, distance learning and eBooks around emotional intelligence for career, relationships, transitions, retirement and wellness. mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for FREE eZine.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach™, http://www.susandunn.cc . Susan was formerly the Director of Development for a Homeless Shelter. She resides in San Antonio, TX and writes on various topics. She offers coaching, distance learning and eBooks around emotional intelligence for career, relationships, transitions, retirement and wellness. mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for FREE eZine.



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