Homelessness

By Thomas Devaney

Homelessness is a serious issue. everyday someone loses their job, gets kicked out of their homes, goes hungry, and even die from malnutrition. we have so much, and yet most of us wont spare a dime for them. its a shame how little is being done, at least on a local level.

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In the U.S., more than 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year. 35% of the homeless population are families with children, which is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. 23% are U.S. military veterans. 25% are children under the age of 18 years. 30% have experienced domestic violence. 20-25% suffer from mental illness. In urban communities, people experience homelessness for an average of eight months.

Lack of Affordable Housing: There is a severe lack of affordable housing in the United States. The growing gap between wage earnings and the cost of housing in the United States leaves millions of families and individuals unable to make ends meet. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, families across the country would need to earn a "housing wage" of $15.37 an hour, nearly three times the current minimum wage, to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the average fair market rent. Even in West Virginia, the least expensive rental state in the country, a full-time wage earner would have to earn over $8.78/hour-$3 higher than the federal minimum wage-in order to afford a two bedroom apartment.

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Roughly 40% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 10.4% and 3.4% of the U.S. veteran population, respectively. Homeless veterans are younger on average than the total veteran population. Approximately 9% are between the ages of 18 and 30, and 41% are between the ages of 31 and 50. Conversely, only 5% of all veterans are between the ages of 18 and 30, and less than 23% are between 31 and 50.

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It only takes giving a small amount. Anyone can do it. But most don't. So next time you pass a homeless person, stop and see if you can give anything. It might make their day better than what you think.