What is the definition of homeless? (1) an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and (2) an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is - (A) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill); (B) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or (C) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
Structural factors Housing costs from 1999 till 2005 rose by 19% and the consumer price index (CPI- U) rose by only 13% Residential construction has been robust. In 2003 there was a supply deficiency of 1.7 million units of housing to meet the demand of 7.7 million extremely low income renting households. Only one-fourth of all eligible families receive any federal housing assistance due to program funding constraints In 2004, 45.8 million Americans (or 15.7% of the population) were without health insurance In 2004, total national health expenditures rose 7.9 percent—over three times the rate of inflation—and since 2000, employment- based health insurance premiums have increased 73%. People working low wage jobs are less likely to be provided with health insurance.
Personal factors Mental illness, and disability can cause individuals to become paranoid, anxious, making it difficult or impossible to maintain employment, pay bills, etc. Many people (especially women and often with children) who flee from domestic violence become homeless. Substance abuse can drain financial resources, cause job or housing loss. Lack of education Institutional release
Other factors Natural disasters Unexpected emergencies
Brief history of homeless in US late 1970s - the deinstitutionalization of patients from state psychiatric hospitals mid-1980s - increase in family homelessness 1990s - welfare reforms increased the number of families entering homelessness 2000s – families and veterans were the largest growing segment of the homeless in America An estimated 3.5 million people are likely to experience homelessness in a given year, the Urban Institute reports 2007
Statistics and demographics Familial composition 40% are families with children—the fastest growing segment. 41% are single males. 14% are single females. 5% are minors unaccompanied by adults. Lifetime self-reported alcohol, drug and mental health problems 62% Alcohol 58% Drugs 57% Mental health 27% Mental health and alcohol or drug (dual diagnosed)
Percentage of homeless people with serious mental illnesses
Statistics and demographics Backgrounds 23% are veterans (compared to 13% of general population). 25% were physically or sexually abused as children. 27% were in foster care or similar institutions as children. 21% were homeless at some point during their childhood. 54% were incarcerated at some point in their lives. Education 38% have less than a High School diploma. 34% have a High School diploma or equivalent (G.E.D.). 28% have more than a High School education.
Statistics and demographics Employment 44% report having worked in the past week. 13% have regular jobs. 50% receive less than $300 per month as income. Location 71% reside in central cities. 21% are in suburbs. 9% are in rural areas.
Statistics and demographics Racial demographics of head of household 41% White, non-Hispanic 40% Black, non-Hispanic 11% Hispanic 8% Native American 1% Other Length of current homeless period 5% Less than one week 8% Greater than one week, less than one month 15% One to three months 11% Four to six months 15% Seven to twelve months 16% Thirteen to twenty four months 10% Twenty-five to sixty months 20% Five or more years
“A Plan, Not a Dream: How to End Homelessness in Ten Years”,released by the National Alliance to End Homelessness in 2000 “Medicaid” created in 1965 HUD – Homeless Assistance Grant TANF -Temporary Assistance for Needy Families “Section 8”, “public housing”, CDBG, HOME (mainstream housing and community development programs) “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001 “Ending Chronic Homelessness through Employment and Housing” released by the Department of Labor in 2003
How much does Federal Government spend on homelessness?
Public opinion (Gallup Institute) 80% - homeless people are alcoholics, drug addicts, who need medical care 67% - people become homeless because have mental illnesses and PTS 58% - nowadays there are more homeless than before 65% - people with low income more predispose to become homeless
Sources: www.endhomelessness.org Cunningham, M. and M. Henry. 2006. “Homelessness Counts”. Washington, DC: National Alliance to End Homelessness “Handbook on homeless”, National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2007 Grace Elizabeth Moore "No Angels Here: The Closing of the Pine Street Inn Nurses Clinic, 1972–2003", Harvard Divinity School, Center for the Study of World Religions Fagan, Kevin, "Saving foster kids from the streets", San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, April 11, 2004. Massachusetts Commission To End Homelessness, "Commission Recommends Focus On Permanent Housing Options", press release, January 11, 2008. American Journal of Community Psychology: "Public knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about homeless people: evidence for compassion fatigue." 23 August 1995. Barry, Ellen, "A Refugee's Triumph Over Desolation", Boston Globe, December 28, 2003. Baumohl, Jim «Homelessness in America", Oryx Press, Phoenix, 1996. Coalition for the Homeless (New York), "A History of Modern Homelessness in New York City“ www.urban.org