Monday, December 3, 2012

LID: The Homeless in America

December 3
National Roof Over Your Head Day

Cove Fort Roof by ricketyus

Happy National Roof Over Your Head Day! 

National Roof Over Your Head Day is a day where we give thanks for having a roof over our heads and remember those who do not. 

Homelessness is a worldwide epidemic that affects people from all walks of life. There are many causes  for homelessness. Here are some interesting facts about the homeless in the United States taken from the National Alliance to End Homelessness 2012 report called The State of Homelessness in America. 

United States Homeless

  • Homelessness is on a decline. In 2009 there were  643,067 homeless. That number dropped to 636,017 in 2011 despite the economical hardship the United States was facing. 
  • Between 2009 -2011, the homeless veteran population decreased from 31 for every 10,000 veteran in the general population to 21 for every 10,000 veteran in the general population.  
  • Chronic homelessness has decreased by 13% from 2007. This decrease is due to an increase in permanent supportive housing beds. Permanent supportive housing beds helps end homelessness by offer the homeless an place to go to get back on their feet. The number of these beds has increased from 88,636 in 2007 to 266,968 in 2011.
  • The unsheltered homeless sub population has increased from 239,759 in 2009 to 243,701 in 2011. Unsheltered homeless are those who were not counted in the permanent supportive housing beds.  
  • Nationally the homeless population has decreased yet 24 states and the District of Columbia have seen an increase from 2009. 
  • Some people are taking in friends and family who are experiencing financial hardships. Known as "doubling up", this practice places elevate the risk of homelessness. Doubling up is on the rise. 
  • Others at elevated risk for homelessness include discharged prisoners and youth who have aged out of the foster care system. 
  • You can learn more about the homeless in America by visiting The National Alliance to End Homelessness

Helping the Homeless?

Homelessness is not a new issue for the United States but it didn't become a national problem until after the Civil War. The Bloodiest War left many orphans, widows and a larger homeless population than our country had ever seen before. In response to the great need many organizations tried to help those who were suffering. The very first American homeless rescue mission was opened in New York City in 1872 but it wasn't until the Great Depression that the United States saw an increase in services being provided to the homeless. Today there are 3,344 homeless shelters and organizations that help the homeless across the United States. A majority of the homeless live in the larger cities. From shelters to soup kitchens, volunteers are almost always needed.  You can learn more about how to become involved by visiting this link: 

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