Facts about Homelessness…
- If people cannot pay for a place to live, they are at risk of becoming homeless.
- Families with children are losing their housing at unparalleled rates. They are among the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.
- A drop in affordable housing and the limited amount of housing assistance programs are the primary causes of homelessness.
- Housing costs have risen, putting housing out of reach for the poorest Americans.
- It takes 105 hours of work per week at minimum wage to afford a two bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
- Twenty-two percent of homeless people are veterans. There are more homeless veterans today than U.S. soldiers who died in Vietnam.
- The average age of a homeless person in the U. S. is nine years old.
- Nationally, one in five people in a soup kitchen line is a child.
- Less than 6% of the homeless are homeless by choice.
- In general, the homeless are among the least threatening, most vulnerable group in our society. If anything, they are victims of crimes, not perpetrators.
- The decline in Michigan’s economy and high unemployment are among a number of reasons that homelessness persists and, in some areas, is worsening. These include stagnant or falling incomes and less secure jobs offering fewer benefits.
- Two trends largely responsible for the rise in homelessness over the past 20-25 years are a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty.
People Must Have Affordable Housing:
The growing gap between the number of affordable housing units and the number of people needing them is growing and has created a housing crisis for poor people. More recently, rents have soared, putting housing out of reach for the poorest Americans. Housing assistance can make the difference between stable housing, precarious housing, or no housing at all. But most poor families and individuals seeking housing assistance are placed on long waiting lists.