Homelessness In America Essay

1027 words - 5 pages

Homelessness in America
Tonight, across America, as many as 3.5 million people will not have a safe place to go to sleep. The homeless will be sleeping out in the cold, on a park bench or in the gutter. The lucky ones may be sleeping in a shelter tonight. These so called shelters are sometimes even more dangerous because they are frequently over-crowded and understaffed. But the real question is, in the land of opportunity, where the typical family has more televisions than family members and an average of two cars, why are there so many citizens on the street, struggling to survive from day to day? How are so many people, fellow human beings, sleeping on sidewalks, begging for spare ...view middle of the document...

Though most people think of the housing crisis as affecting single family home owners, many renters have lost their homes since the bubble burst. Research indicates that an estimated 20% of all foreclosures are rental properties. Approximately 40% of families facing eviction due to foreclosure are renters, and approximately three million children, or 37% of all children affected by foreclosure, live in rental housing. Renters are innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire of the foreclosure crisis, becoming vulnerable to homelessness through no fault of their own.” (2 0 1 2 Annual Report, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, Pg.12)
Homelessness is not a new problem in America. It has been around since the beginning of this great nation. The homeless first became noticeable in the late eighteenth century, and then grew significantly in number after 1820, when urbanization and industrial development began to take hold in the young nation. By the 1840s and '50s, municipalities were setting aside rooms in police stations for overnight lodging of the destitute, and organized charities began to grapple with the problem of the homeless for the first time. Homelessness emerged as a national issue in the 1870s. During that decade the homeless population increased dramatically in size. Despite a deep recession and the slow jobs recovery, the amount of people classified as homeless has improved nearly every year since 2005. ”An estimated 129,000 fewer Americans were homeless in 2012 than in 2005, even after a mortgage crisis kicked thousands out of their homes. Since 2009 alone, the number of homeless military veterans has dropped 17%, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says it is on track to ending homelessness for veterans by 2015.” (Greg Toppo, "USA TODAY”, Homeless population dips)
Homelessness in America is a gut-wrenching problem for all concerned citizens. “Homelessness represents the next to the last stop on the downward trajectory from initial economic stability through poverty to absolute destitution. Except for death from exposure and starvation, no worse calamity awaits one after the...

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