Despite rough times, homelessness is down

Washington, D.C. ( – News report) – It is somewhat surprising, that the amount of homeless people on the streets has declined even with the current economy, mortgage crisis, foreclosures and war on terror. Maybe not everything President Bush does is negative… in achieving 52,000 fewer chronically homeless, his goal for 2003. (A chronically homeless person is an unaccompanied disabled individual who has been continuously homeless for over one year.) The following statistics were collected annually from more than 3,800 cities and counties in America.

Even though the U.S. budget for homelessness is only $1.5 billion a year, the number of homeless individuals has declined by 12% from 2005 to 2007, to just under 672,000 people and chronic homelessness also falling in almost 30% lower than in 2005, from 175,000 to fewer than 125,000, according to a report presented to Congress by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Thankfully, the homeless are attempting to do something about their situations. During October 2006 to September 2007, 1.6 million people sought help for homelessness. Of those, 69% were men, 64% were minorities, and 30% were in families. In addition, 1.6 million people used emergency shelters or transitional housing at some point during a one-year period. About 70 percent of sheltered homeless are adult men, and the typical homeless family consisting of a mother with two or three children.

A recent article in the New York Times further explains that the decline is due to a ‘policy shift promoted by Congress and the administration that has focused federal and local resources on finding stable housing for homeless people suffering from drug addiction, mental illness or physical disabilities, long deemed the hardest to help in the homeless population.’ The strategy, called “housing first,” strives to place the chronically homeless into permanent shelters such as apartments, halfway houses or rooms and provided them with services for their problems. This program is indeed working and although the housing problem is not solved it has definitely improved.  Legal news  on the web now 

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