The Homeless Need More Than Blankets

October 31, 2014 3:54 PM

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In this land of plenty and this land of opportunity over 600,000 American's experience homelessness on any given night with 138,000 being children under the age of 18. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the national rate of homeless persons is 19 per 10,000 people with the highest in Washington DC of 106. Veterans are homeless at the rate of 27 for every 10,000 veterans, with DC again being the highest at 156. The lack of affordable housing is considered the primary cause of homelessness. The government agency HUD (Housing & Urban Development) has seen its budget slashed by over 50% resulting in the loss of 10,000 units each year of subsidized low income housing. 13% of the nation's low income housing has been lost since 2001. This country needs 7 million more affordable apartments for low income families, but because we don't have enough, 11 million families spend over half of their monthly income on rent. Add on top of this the over 5 million homes that have been foreclosed on since 2008 (1 of every 10 homes with a mortgage) and it easy to understand why this country is where it is with our lack of ability to help the homeless.

Homeless children as defined by the federal "No Child Left Behind" program includes not just those living in shelters or transitional housing, but also those sharing housing of other persons due to economic hardships, living in cars, parks, bus or train stations or awaiting foster care placement. Us...

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