Homelessness in America

Topics: Homelessness, Poverty, Homeless shelter Pages: 4 (1418 words) Published: March 29, 2005
Homelessness in America

Here in Tahoe, we are lucky enough to experience a great quality of life, and only a few have to face the horrible life of poverty and homelessness. However, nationwide, even right outside the basin, homelessness is a growing epidemic across the country. There are many ways one can become homeless; for the most part poverty. There are also different concentrations of homeless in different types of terrain, such as urban or suburban areas. Last, there is the ever- growing homeless population, and how much money it costs us for others to live in poverty. These are the questions we ask ourselves about homelessness, and the only way we can help is to know the facts about this lingering subject.

The biggest reason people are homeless is simply because of poverty. They just can't afford to have a place to live and food in their mouths. As of 2000, 11.3% of the US population lived in poverty.(1) The number of people in extreme poverty has been increasing since 1999, accounting for 39% of people in poverty, and making less than half the amount of income a person considered in poverty makes.(3) With this amount of people living in poverty, it's no wonder why there are so many homeless today. The reason people are in poverty is because of inflation since the 70's, and the loss of affordable housing projects.(4) This accounts for almost all homeless, but there are also other factors that can contribute as well. There are many people with addiction problems that make them homeless. It's not because they are addicted to drugs, because many people live quite well with an addiction problem, but they could be in a hard point financially, and could be driven to the streets because of money issues. The hard part for them is getting off the streets once they're on them. Since so much of their money goes to drugs, most drug addicts can't overcome being homeless once they have been for more than 6 months.(1) Mental illness is also a big issue causing...

Cited: 1. www.nationalhomeless.org/facts.html
4.world book H
5. Federal Task Force on Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness website.
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