Homelessness in America
You’ve heard the term, “home is where the heart is.” Everyone wants and needs a place to call home, where they can go for shelter, a safe place to relax and place to house their belongings and in many cases live with their spouse, children, relatives and friends. Your home in many cases is the asset that drives individual and family wealth for most people who live anyplace in the world.
In America, we have a problem with homelessness, where thousands of people live an unsheltered environment in many parts of the United States, according to USA FACTS.
USA FACTS reports the homeless population in America in 2020 was 580,466, which surprisingly is down 30.8% compared to 2006. California is first in the nation for homeless population, with 161,548, followed by New York with 91,271. North Carolina was 15th in the nation with 9,280 homeless people in 2020. In San Francisco, the homeless rate as February 2022 was 0.54% of the total population. Only Los Angeles had a higher rate of 0.67%.
Who are the homeless? They represent a cross section of America, with 48% White, 39% Black, 6% Multi-racial and a combined 6% of Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American. They are veterans, children and families. Their average income is $15,000 and the largest age group is over 24 years old.
When comparing the United States to our neighbors to the north and south the homeless numbers per 10,000 is 17.6; Canada is 10 and Mexico is 35.4.
World Atlas, reports the United States is the 8th wealthiest nation in the world based on GDP, or the Gross Domestic Product, which is comprised of export revenues, incomes, consumption, and the value of goods and services the nation produces in the span of a year. “The GDP per capita is the wealth divided by the number of inhabitants in the country, which is a helpful measurement that can provide insight into the quality of life in a country.”
The question is, why is there homelessness in the 8th wealthiest nation in the world and what is being done about it? The two cities in the nation for homelessness, Los Angeles and San Francisco are taking practical and prototypical approaches for addressing the issues.
San Francisco is offering a podcast called "Fixing our City" that offers real stories and solutions to address the issue of preventing homelessness to reduce the growth of the unsheltered population.
The Skid Row Housing Trust, which is designed to provide permanent housing along with to support sustainable living and wellness.
Los Angeles County has developed a comprehensive and humane strategy for address the unsheltered issue for people in Los Angeles. The strategy is not a one a total solution, however it is a great start at addressing an issue that is faced by nations around the world and it many urban areas across America. or individuals and families, with restrooms, showers and counseling to assist people in transitioning from unsheltered to sheltered and potential employment. The Los Angeles County’s homeless services system began in 2017 with a legislative initiative designed to provide funding from a ¼ cent sales tax approved by voters to address and reduce homelessness. The model provides This is a model that can be replicated in cities across the nation and the world.
Kudos to the people of California for their compassion and realizing the importance of finding a home for its residents. Homelessness can be reduced and eliminated in the 8th wealthiest nation in the world and two of the wealthiest cities in the world.