600,000 Homeless in America
Over 600,000 are homeless in the United States of America, In our great land children, women and men do not have a home. The once sought after dream of home ownership and we have over 600,000 sleeping on our streets, parks and in alleyways.
But the question is “Why”? I will tell you why.
America is experiencing a housing problem on many income levels. For the middle class, stagnating wages and rising home prices in the major job centers have stubbornly kept the home ownership rate stuck between 63-64% for the last 2 years. At the federal level funds for affordable rental and home ownership programs have stagnated or been cut, most current programs like HUD’s Choice Neighborhood and Low Income Tax Credit housing are underfunded.
By official estimates over 600,000 on any given night are homeless. These are people from all walks of like. Approximately 1/3 are household with children. A study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty states that approximately 3.5 million people 1.35 million are children. There are an estimated 57,849 homeless veterans with just under 8% female veterans. Texas, Florida and California seem to have the highest percentages. These are some statistics from the 2010 SAMHSA Report with a breakdown for the cause of homelessness:
26.2 % Mental Illness
34.7% Substance Abuse = Alcohol and Drug
53% Have less than a high school education
The United States Conference of Mayer’s on causes of homelessness sited the flowing reason in this order:
- Lake of affordable housing
- Mental illness
- Substance abuse
- Low paying jobs
- Prison reentry
- Unemployment, domestic violence and poverty
Costs of dealing with homelessness
In 2013, a Central Florida Commission on Homelessness study indicated that the region spends $31,000 a year per homeless person to cover “salaries of law-enforcement officers to arrest and transport homeless individuals — largely for nonviolent offenses such as trespassing, public intoxication or sleeping in parks — as well as the cost of jail stays, emergency-room visits and hospitalization for medical and psychiatric issues. This did not include “money spent by nonprofit agencies to feed, clothe and sometimes shelter these individuals”. In contrast, the report estimated the cost of permanent supportive housing at “$10,051 per person per year” and concluded that “[h]ousing even half of the region’s chronically homeless population would save taxpayers $149 million during the next decade — even allowing for 10 percent to end up back on the streets again.” This particular study followed 107 long-term-homeless residents living in Orange, Osceola or Seminole Counties. There are similar studies showing large financial savings in Charlotte and Southeastern Colorado from focusing on simply housing the homeless.
There are developers, nonprofits and local governments that are partnering to build housing developments on government land. Also, state governments are adopting tax credits that can be used by homeowners to rehabilitate older homes.
But with the worst job report in almost 6 years, the labor force participation rate is now down to 62.6, and a possible looming housing bubble ready to hit again and rising prices I not so sure that these programs will even began to touch this growing concern.
This is a link for tent cities that can be searched by state Click Here
This is a link for other reading Click Here
I knew we had an dire number of homeless people, however I have to say I sincerely did not know it was this bad and growing.