Homelessness in the United States
Homelessness is the condition of person or persons lacking "A fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" as defined by The McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Homelessness emerged as a national issue in the 1870s. Many homeless people lived in emerging urban cities, such as New York City. Into the 20th Century, the Great Depression of the 1930s caused a devastating epidemic of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. There were two million homeless people migrating across the United States. In the 1970s, the de-institutionalization of patients from state psychiatric hospitals was a precipitating factor which seeded the population of people that are homeless.
The number of homeless people grew in the 1980s, as housing and social service cuts increased. After many years of advocacy and numerous revisions, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987—this remains the only piece of federal legislation that allocates funding to the direct service of homeless people. Over the past decades, the availability and quality of data on homelessness has improved considerably. About 1.56 million people, or about 0.5% of the U.S. population, used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. Homelessness in the United States increased after the Great Recession in the United States.
One out of 50 children or 1.5 million children in United States of America will be homeless each year. In 2013 that number jumped to one out of 30 children, or 2.5 million. There were an estimated 57,849 homeless veterans estimated in the United States during January 2013, or 12 percent of all homeless adults. Just under 8 percent of homeless U.S. veterans are female. Texas, California and Florida have the highest numbers of unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18, comprising 58% of the total homeless under 18 youth population. Homelessness affects men more than women. At least 70% to 85% of all homeless are men.
Because of turnover in the population of people that are homeless, the total number of people who experience homelessness for at least a few nights during the course of a year is thought to be considerably higher than point-in-time counts. A 2000 study estimated the number of such people to be between 2.3 million and 3.5 million. According to Amnesty International USA, vacant houses outnumber homeless people by five times.
Causes of homelessness in the United States include lack of affordable housing, divorce, lawful eviction, negative cash flow, post traumatic stress disorder, foreclosure, fire, natural disasters (hurricane, earthquake, or flood), mental illness, physical disability, having no family or supportive relatives, substance abuse, lack of needed services, elimination of pensions and unemployment entitlements, no or inadequate income sources, such as Social Security, stock dividends, or annuity), poverty (no net worth), gambling, unemployment, and low-paying jobs. Homelessness in the United States affects many segments of the population, including families, children, domestic violence victims, ex-convicts, veterans, the aged, and others. Efforts to assist people that are homeless have included federal legislation, non-profit efforts, increased access to healthcare services, affordable housing, among others.
- 1 Historical background
- 2 Definitions and categories
- 3 Efforts to assist homeless people
- 4 Effects of homelessness
- 5 Situations in specific U.S. cities and states
- 6 Public attitudes
- 7 Statistics and demographics
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
Pre-colonial and colonial periods
Following the Peasants' Revolt in England, constables were authorized under 1383 English Poor Laws statute to collar vagabonds and force them to show support; if they could not, the penalty was gaol.
Vagabonds could be sentenced to the stocks for three days and nights; in 1530, whipping was added. The presumption was that vagabonds were unlicensed beggars. In 1547, a bill was passed that subjected vagrants to some of the more extreme provisions of the criminal law, namely two years servitude and branding with a "V" as the penalty for the first offense and death for the second.
Homelessness emerged as a national issue in the 1870s. There are no national figures documenting homeless people demography at this time. Jacob Riis wrote about, documented, and photographed the poor and destitute, although not specifically homeless people, in New York City tenements in the late 19th century. His ground-breaking book, How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890, raised public awareness of living conditions in the slums, causing some changes in building codes and some social conditions.
The growing movement toward social concern sparked the development of rescue missions, such as America's first rescue mission, the New York City Rescue Mission, founded in 1872 by Jerry and Maria McAuley. In smaller towns, there were hobos, who temporarily lived near train tracks and hopped onto trains to various destinations. Especially following the American Civil War, a large number of homeless men formed part of a counterculture known as "hobohemia" all over America.
During this time, many towns and cities had an area which contained people that are homeless. In New York City, for example, there was an area known as "the Bowery." Rescue missions offering "soup, soap, and salvation", a phrase introduced by The Salvation Army, sprang up along the Bowery thoroughfare, including the oldest one, The Bowery Mission. The mission was founded in 1879 by the Rev. and Mrs. A.G. Ruliffson.
The Great Depression of the 1930s caused a devastating epidemic of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. There were two million homeless people migrating across the United States. Many lived in shantytowns they called "Hoovervilles" deriding the President they blamed for the Depression. Residents lived in shacks and begged for food or went to soup kitchens. Authorities did not officially recognize these Hoovervilles and occasionally removed the occupants for technically trespassing on private lands, but they were frequently tolerated out of necessity.
The Community Mental Health Act of 1963 was a pre-disposing factor in setting the stage for homelessness in the United States. Long term psychiatric patients were released from state hospitals into Single Room Occupancies and sent to community health centers for treatment and follow-up. It never quite worked out properly and this population largely was found living in the streets soon thereafter with no sustainable support system. In the United States, during the late 1970s, the deinstitutionalization of patients from state psychiatric hospitals was a precipitating factor which seeded population people that are homeless, especially in urban areas such as New York City.
1980s and 1990s
The number of homeless people grew in the 1980s, as housing and social service cuts increased and the economy deteriorated. The United States government determined that somewhere between 200,000 and 500,000 Americans were then homeless. There were some U.S. federal initiatives that aimed to help, end and prevent homelessness, however, there were no designated homeless-related programs in the Office of Management and Budget.
The History of the United States (1980–1991) illustrates that this was a time when there was economic distress, high unemployment, and was the period when chronic homelessness became a societal problem. In 1980, federal funds accounted for 22% of big city budgets, but by 1989 the similar aid composed only 6% of urban revenue (part of a larger 60% decrease in federal spending to support local governments). It is largely (although not exclusively) in these urban areas that homelessness became widespread and reached unprecedented numbers. Most notable were cuts to federal low-income housing programs. An advocacy group claims that Congress halved the budget for public housing and Section 8 (the government's housing voucher subsidization program) and that between the years of 1980 and 1989 HUD's budget authority was reduced from $74 billion to $19 billion. Such alleged changes is claimed to have resulted in an inadequate supply of affordable housing to meet the growing demand of low-income populations. In 1970 there were 300,000 more low-cost rental units (6.5 million) than low-income renter households (6.2 million). By 1985, the advocacy group claimed that the number of low-cost units had fallen to 5.6 million, and the number of low-income renter households had grown to 8.9 million, a disparity of 3.3 million units
In response to the ensuing homelessness crisis of the 1980s, concerned citizens across the country[who?] demanded that the federal government provide assistance. After many years of advocacy and numerous revisions, President Reagan signed into law the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987—this remains the only piece of federal legislation that allocates funding to the direct service of homeless people. The McKinney-Vento Act paved the way for service providers in the coming years. During the 1990s homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other supportive services sprouted up in cities and towns across the nation. However, despite these efforts and the dramatic economic growth marked by this decade, homeless numbers remained stubbornly high. It became increasingly apparent that simply providing services to alleviate the symptoms of homelessness (i.e. shelter beds, hot meals, psychiatric counseling, etc.), although needed, were not successful at solving the root causes of homelessness. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH),a federal agency contained in the Executive Branch, was established in 1987 as a requirement of the McKinney-Vento Act of 1987.
Over the past decades, the availability and quality of data on homelessness has improved considerably, due, in part, to initiatives by the United States government. Since 2007, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued an Annual Homeless Assessment Report, which revealed the number of individuals and families that were homeless, both sheltered and unsheltered. In 2009, There were about 643,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide. About two-thirds of those stayed in emergency shelters or used transitional housing programs, with the remaining living on the street in abandoned buildings or other areas not meant for human habitation. About 1.56 million people, or about 0.5% of the U.S. population, used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. Around 44% of homeless people were employed.
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, the most common demographic features of all sheltered homeless people are: male, members of minority groups, older than age 31, and alone. More than 40 percent of sheltered homeless people have a disability. At the same time, sizable segments of the sheltered homeless population are white, non-Hispanic (38 percent), children (20 percent), or part of multi-person households (33 percent). Approximately 68 percent of the 1.6 million sheltered homeless people were homeless as individuals and 32 percent were persons in families.
In 2008 more than 66 percent of all sheltered homeless people were located in principal cities, with 32 percent located in suburban or rural jurisdictions. About 40 percent of people entering an emergency shelter or transitional housing program during 2008 came from another homeless situation (sheltered or unsheltered), 40 percent came from a housed situation (in their own or someone else's home), and the remaining 20 percent were split between institutional settings or other situations such as hotels or motels. Most people had relatively short lengths of stay in emergency shelters: 60 percent stayed less than a month, and a 33 percent stayed a week or less.
"In 2004 the United States Conference of Mayors... surveyed the mayors of major cities on the extent and causes of urban homelessness and most of the mayors named the lack of affordable housing as a cause of homelessness.... The next three causes identified by mayors, in rank order, were mental illness or the lack of needed services, substance abuse and lack of needed services, and low-paying jobs. The lowest ranking cause, cited by five mayors, was prisoner reentry. Other causes cited were unemployment, domestic violence, and poverty."
- The failure of urban housing projects to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing to the poor. Additionally, many workers cannot afford to live where they work, and even in moderately priced communities housing costs require a large portion of household income.
- The deinstitutionalization movement from the 1950s onwards in state mental health systems, to shift towards 'community-based' treatment of the mentally ill, as opposed to long-term commitment in institutions. There is disproportionally higher prevalence of mental disorders relative to other disease groups within homeless patient populations at both inpatient hospitals and hospital-based emergency departments.
- Redevelopment and gentrification activities instituted by cities across the country through which low-income neighborhoods are declared blighted and demolished to make way for projects that generate higher property taxes and other revenue, creating a shortage of housing affordable to low-income working families, the elderly poor, and the disabled.
- The failure of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide effective mental health care and meaningful job training for many homeless veterans, particularly those of the Vietnam War. This has been met by efforts of related NGOs: The Wounded Warriors Project, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and Center for American Homeless Veterans, to alleviate the problem.
- Nearly half of foster children in the United States become homeless when they are released from foster care at age 18.
- Natural disasters that destroy homes: hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Places of employment are often destroyed too, causing unemployment and transience.
- People who have served time in prison, have abused drugs and alcohol, or have a history of mental illness find it difficult to find employment for years at a time because of the use of computer background checks by potential employers. Also inclusive of registered sex offenders who are considered unwelcome in some metropolitan areas. See prisoner reentry.
- According to the Institution of Housing in 2005, the U.S. Government has focused 42% more on foreign countries rather than homeless Americans, including homeless veterans.
- People who are hiding in order to evade law enforcement.
- Adults and children who flee domestic violence.
- Teenagers who flee or are thrown out by parents who disapprove of their child's sexual orientation or gender identity. A 2010 study by the Center for American Progress shows that a disproportionately high number of homeless youth (between 20–40%) identify as LGBTQ.
- Overly complex building code that makes it difficult for most people to build. Traditional huts, cars, and tents are illegal, classified as substandard and may be removed by government, even though the occupant may own the land. Land owner cannot live on the land cheaply, and so sells the land and becomes homeless.
- Foreclosures of homes, including foreclosure of apartment complexes which displaces tenants renting there.
- Evictions from rented property.
- Lack of support from friends or family.
- Individuals who prefer homelessness and wish to remain off the grid for political and ideological purposes. Often self-identified as Gutter Punks or Urban Survivalists. The Department of Housing and Urban Development rarely reports on this counter-cultural movement since Gutter Punks and similar individuals often refuse to participate in governmental studies and do not seek governmental assistance for ideological or political purposes.
- Lack of resources in place in the communities to help aid in prevention of homelessness before it becomes a crisis.
- Neoliberal reforms to the welfare state and the retrenchment of the social safety net.
In response to the Great Recession in the United States, President Obama signed several pieces of legislation that addressed the homelessness crisis. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 addressed homelessness prevention, in which he allocated an additional $1.5 billion to HUD for the "Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP)." The purpose of HPRP was to assist individuals and families who are otherwise healthy and not chronically homeless in escaping homelessness or preventing homelessness of the vulnerable population. On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act into Public Law (Public Law 111-22 or "PL 111-22"), reauthorizing HUD's Homeless Assistance programs. It was part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. The HEARTH act allows for the prevention of homelessness, rapid re-housing, consolidation of housing programs, and new homeless categories.
In the first year of the new decade, the Federal government launched of Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Opening Doors is a publication of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which worked with all Federal agencies and many state and local stakeholders on its creation and vision, setting a ten-year path for the nation on preventing and ending all types of homelessness. This Plan was presented to the President and Congress in a White House Ceremony on June 22, 2010.
According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the demand for emergency shelter in 270 U.S. cities increased 13 percent in 2001 and 25 percent in 2005. 22 percent of those requesting emergency shelter were turned away.
Into 2016, homelessness is considered an epidemic in several American cities. "Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and seven of the 15 City Council members announced they would declare a state of emergency and try to find $100 million to cure what has become a municipal curse." Homelessness in New York City has tripled since January 2000, from approximately 20,000 people using provided nightly shelter services to more than 60,000 in January 2015. These counts do not include those persons who choose to stay away from shelter providers.
Definitions and categories
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledges four categories of people who qualify as legally homeless: (1) those who are currently homeless, (2) those who will become homeless in the imminent future, (3) certain youths and families with children who suffer from home instability caused by a hardship, and (4) those who suffer from home instability caused by domestic violence.
According to the Stewart B. McKinney Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11301, et seq. (1994), a person is considered homeless if they "lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and ... has a primary nighttime residency that is: (A) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations... (B) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or (C) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings." Human Rights Watch (2010) identified emancipated teenagers in California as a new homeless population.
Homeless veterans are persons who have served in the armed forces who are homeless or living without access to secure and appropriate accommodation. There were an estimated 57,849 homeless veterans estimated in the United States during January 2013; or 12 percent of all homeless adults. Just under 8 percent of homeless U.S. veterans are female. Texas, California and Florida have the highest numbers of unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18; comprising 58% of the total homeless under 18 youth population 
Throughout the 21st Century, homeless service providers and the Federal government have been able to reduce chronic homelessness and homelessness among Veterans with targeted efforts and interagency cooperation on initiatives like the HUD-VASH program.
The number of homeless children in the US grew from 1.2 million in 2007 to 1.6 million in 2010. The US defines homelessness per McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act.[definition needed]The number of homeless children reached record highs in 2011, 2012, and 2013 at about three times their number in 1983. An "estimated two million [youth] run away from or are forced out of their homes each year" in the United States. The difference in these numbers can be attributed to the temporary nature of street children in the United States, unlike the more permanent state in developing countries.
Street children in the United States tend to stay in the state, 83% do not leave their state of origin. If they leave, street children are likely to end up in large cities, notably New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. Street children are predominantly Caucasian and female in the United States, and 42% identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
The United States government has been making efforts since the late 1970s to accommodate this section of the population. The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act of 1978 made funding available for shelters and funded the National Runaway Switchboard. Other efforts include the Child Abuse and Treatment Act of 1974, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. There has also been a decline of arrest rates in street youth, dropping in 30,000 arrests from 1998 to 2007. Instead, the authorities are referring homeless youth to state-run social service agencies.
College youth that are homeless account for over one million of the young homeless population. According to the Free Application Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, in 2013, over 58,000 students identified as homeless on their application. "The federal government defines these unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) as individuals who do not have "fixed, regular and adequate" housing and who are "not in the physical custody of a parent or adult." The McKinney Vento Act is considered the key piece of federal legislation pertaining to educational support for homeless children and teens. The causes of homelessness varies from student to student. There are two types of homeless college students: 1. students that are homeless upon entering college and 2. students who become homeless during college. For the youth that become homeless upon entering college, this situation represents the students that are having trouble sustaining housing due to job loss of their parent or guardian, the lack of a parent or guardian or because youth has been asked to leave the home or decided to runaway. The reasons for a college youth to become homeless while attending college are as follows: unable to sustain the financial expenses for housing and food. Secondly, by having the financial support given by family revoked. Fortunately, there are programs available at state colleges and universities that provide students with the necessary resources to obtain financial and housing stability and sustainability. There are also organizations such as the National Association For The Education Of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) that advocate for a higher education so the children and youth can fulfil their dreams. Another innovative model that can be of great help to college students experiencing homelessness is Single Stop USA, which operates in community colleges to help connect low-income students to the resources they need, including housing, to not only stay in school but to excel
Research shows that a disproportionate amount of homeless youth in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or LGBT. Researchers suggest that this is primarily a result of hostility or abuse from the youth's families leading to eviction or running away. In addition, LGBT youth are often at greater risk for certain dangers while homeless, including being the victims of crime, risky sexual behavior, substance abuse, and mental health concerns. LGBT homeless youth experience limited access to emergency housing options that affirm their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and according to a Note for the Family Court Review recommending policies regarding such housing options, as many as fifty percent of LGBT youth in emergency housing programs may be physically assaulted, a proportion further exacerbated at large shelters that house two hundred or more youth. In addition, homeless youth emergency housing programs may lead to the denial of services to LGBT youth under the religious aspects of this orientation of the individuals.
The 2000s saw a new population of those experiencing homelessness: families with children. While an emerging problem at the beginning of the decade, the problem continued to persist through 2010. At the close of the decade the trend continued unabated, with the number of individuals in homeless families increasing from 431,541 in 2007 to 535,447 in 2009.
Efforts to assist homeless people
The community of homeless people in the United States is aided by governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Homeless individuals report a lack of affordable housing as the number one reason for becoming homeless. Many non-profit organizations are in operation to serve this need—for example, the National Low Income Housing Coalition—but most lack the funding necessary to create enough housing. Several proposed policy measures are designed to secure such funding, such as the National Housing Trust Fund, but these have not been signed into law.
The two main types of housing programs provided for homeless people are transitional and permanent housing. Transitional housing programs are operated with one goal in mind – to help individuals and families obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible. Transitional housing programs assist homeless for a fixed amount of time or until they are able to obtain housing on their own and function successfully in the community, or whichever comes first.
Some shelters and associated charitable foundations have bought buildings and real estate to develop into permanent housing for the homeless in lieu of transitional Housing.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Administration have a special Section 8 housing voucher program called VASH (Veterans Administration Supported Housing), or HUD-VASH, which gives out a certain number of Section 8 subsidized housing vouchers to eligible homeless and otherwise vulnerable US armed forces veterans. The HUD-VASH program has been successful in housing many homeless veterans.
Housing First has met with success since its initial implementations in 2009 by providing relatively no strings-attached housing to homeless people with substance abuse problems or mental health issues. Housing First allows homeless men and women to be taken directly off the street into private community-based apartments, without requiring treatment first. This allows the homeless to return to some sense of normalcy, from which it is believed that they are better-poised to tackle their addictions or sicknesses. The relapse rate through these types of programs is lower than that of conventional homeless programs.
Housing First was initiated by the federal government's Interagency Council on Homelessness. It asks cities to come up with a plan to end chronic homelessness under the assumption that if homeless people are given independent housing immediately with some social and financial support, then there will be reduced needs for emergency homeless shelters.
Comprehensive health care
Homeless individuals report mental illness as being the number three reason for becoming or staying homeless. Such illnesses are often closely linked with the fourth reason—substance abuse—and therefore it is generally accepted that both of these issues should be treated simultaneously. Although many medical, psychiatric, and counseling services exist to address these needs, it is commonly believed that without the support of reliable and stable housing such treatments remain ineffective. Furthermore, in the absence of a universal health-care plan, many of those in need cannot afford such services. Proposed legislation such as the Bringing America Home Act are intended to provide comprehensive treatment for many homeless mental and substance abuse patients.
||This article is based on public domain United States government sources and may require cleanup. (August 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
There are several policies dealing with homelessness. In 1980 the government decided to start sending funding to people that are homeless, but it was not until 1984 that shelters were built to accommodate and feed them. As it was shown though seventy percent required homeless people to attend a religious ceremony and spend only a couple of nights there. In the 1987 McKinney Act the problem with homelessness became known as a huge social problem. Later on, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110) amended the program explicitly to prohibit states that receive McKinney-Vento funds from segregating homeless students from non-homeless students, except for short periods of time for health and safety emergencies or to provide temporary, special, supplementary services. The Chronic Homelessness Initiative. The George W. Bush Administration established a national goal of ending chronic homelessness in ten years, by 2012. The idea of a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness began as a part of a 10-year plan to end homelessness in general adopted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) in 2000. The following year, then-Secretary Martinez announced HUD's commitment to ending chronic homelessness at the NAEH annual conference. In 2002, as a part of his FY2003 budget, President Bush made "ending chronic homelessness in the next decade a top objective." The bi-partisan, congressionally mandated, Millennial Housing Commission, in its Report to Congress in 2002, included ending chronic homelessness in 10 years among its principal recommendations. By 2003, the Interagency Council on Homelessness had been re-engaged and charged with pursuing the President's 10-year plan. The Administration has recently undertaken some collaborative efforts to reach its goal of ending chronic homelessness in 10 years. On October 1, 2003, the Administration announced the award of over $48 million in grants aimed at serving the needs of the chronically homeless through two initiatives. The "Ending Chronic Homelessness through Employment and Housing" initiative was a collaborative grant offered jointly by HUD and the Department of Labor (DOL). The initiative offered $10 million from HUD and $3.5 million from DOL to help the chronically homeless in five communities gain access to employment and permanent housing. Section 8 is the core housing program that helps extremely low-income families accommodate the gap between their incomes below 30 percent of the median income for each community. The government assists homeless families by awarding grants and vouchers. Vouchers are available to the families who are most needy and they are used to pay for housing found in the private market. Currently there are policy changes in who receives vouchers and there will be a reduction in the amount of vouchers granted to the population of people that are homeless .
Public libraries can and often do significantly assist with the issues represented by homelessness. In many communities, the library is the only facility that offers free computer and internet access in their community, resources often necessary for job applications. They also provide resources to do research into healthcare, and to help better their education.
The news article and video entitled, "SF library offers Social Services to Homeless," speaks about the step of the San Francisco library having a full-time social worker at the library to reduce and help homeless patrons. It mentions that Leah Esguerra, who is a psychiatric social worker, has a usual routine which is done by making her rounds to different homeless patrons and greeting them to see if she could help them. She offers help in different forms that could range from linking patrons with services or providing them with mental health counseling. She also supervises a 12-week vocational program that culminates in gainful employment in the library for the formerly homeless (Knight, 2010). The changes have garnered positive results from all patrons. Since this service started, staff at the library stated that they have noticed a drop in inappropriate behavior.
The San Jose University Library became one of the first academic libraries to pay attention to the needs of homeless people and implement changes to better serve this population. In 2007, the merged University Library and Public Library made the choice to be proactive in reaching out. Collaborations with nonprofit organizations in the area culminated in computer classes being taught, as well as nutrition classes, family literacy programs, and book discussion groups. After eighteen months, the library staff felt they still were not doing enough and "analyzed program participation trends supplemented by observation and anecdotes" in order to better understand the information needs of homeless people. When it was understood that these needs are complex, additional customer service training was provided to all staff who were interested. Once the staff more fully understood the needs of homeless people, it was determined that many programs in place already would be helpful to homeless people with a few minor adjustments. Programs were tailored to meet these needs. Additional changes implemented included temporary computer passes and generous in-house reading space to counteract the policies in place that may prevent a homeless person from obtaining a library card. New York Public Library offers services to homeless people that are residing in shelters.
The Dallas Public Library started "Coffee and Conversation" which is part of their Homeless Engagement Initiative. The staff hopes these bimonthly events between staff and homeless patrons will help them better serve the homeless people population in Dallas. They also sponsor Street View podcast, a library produced podcast featuring the stories and experiences of the city's homeless population. Guests often include social service providers.
In May 1991, Richard Kreimer, a homeless man in Morristown, N.J. sued the local public library and the Town of Morristown for kicking him out of the library after other patrons complained about his disruptive behavior and pungent body odor. He later won the case and settled for $250,000.
Effects of homelessness
Homelessness has a tremendous effect on a child's education. Education of homeless youth is thought to be essential in breaking the cycle of poverty. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act mandates equal opportunity to a free public education to homeless students. This act is supposed to break down the barriers homeless students have to receiving an education. These barriers include residency restriction, medical record verification, and transportation issues. Once a student surpasses these barriers, they are still subject to the stigma of being homeless, and the humiliation they feel because of their situation. Some families do not report their homelessness, while others are unaware of the opportunities available to them. Many report that maintaining a stable school environment helps the students because it's the only thing that remains normal. Many homeless students fall behind their peers in school due to behavioral disorders, and lack of attendance in school.
Since the housing market fall out there has been a rise in the number of homeless students. NAEHCY or the National Association for the Education of Homeless for Children and Youth, has reported a 99% increase in homeless students within a three-month period (San Diego).
Of 1,636 schools, 330 reported no increase, 847 reported an increase of half, and 459 reported an increase of 25 percent or more. Due to underfunding many school districts are struggling to provide the necessary services to support homeless students, as mandated in the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act, such as rising transportation needs and the greater range and usefulness of services.
One of the biggest challenges our district faces is providing transportation to students who are experiencing homelessness. There are few approaches that our district can utilize to provide transportation for these students. Our city has only one taxi cab service and no public bus system. Our cab company is small and simply cannot fulfill all of our transportation requests. When it's possible, we add students to existing bus routes or set up a contractual agreement with the student's parent/guardian. However, there have been many situations where none of these options have worked. Another challenge our district faces is providing proper outer-wear for students who are homeless. Being that we live in central Wisconsin and have long, cold winters, all students need proper outerwear to go outside. Proper outerwear includes snow boots, hat, mittens, snow pants, and a winter jacket that has a working zipper or buttons on it. This expense adds up quickly and is hard to provide to the increasing number of homeless students.
This is especially worrisome since homeless students are 1) 1.5 times more likely to perform below grade level in reading; 2) 1.5 times more likely to perform below grade level in spelling; and 3) 2.5 times more likely to perform below grade level in math. There are a few worries that there will be false reports of homeless students, but mostly it's not an issue.
Various laws have both directly and indirectly criminalized people that are homeless and people attempting to feed homeless people outdoors. At least 31 cities have criminalized feeding people that are homeless.
In 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Committee criticized the United States for the criminalization of homelessness, noting that such "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" is in violation of international human rights treaty obligations.
Measures passed "prohibit activities such as sleeping/camping, eating, sitting, and begging in public spaces, usually including criminal penalties for violation of these laws." Violators of such laws typically incur criminal penalties, which result in fines and/or incarceration.
In April 2006 the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that "making it a crime to be homeless by charging them with a crime is in violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments." However, on October 15, 2007, the Court vacated its Opinion when, on appeal the parties settled the case out of court.
The City could not expressly criminalize the status of homelessness by making it a crime to be homeless without violating the Eighth Amendment, nor can it criminalize acts that are an integral aspect of that status. Because there is substantial and undisputed evidence that the number of homeless persons in Los Angeles far exceeds the number of available shelter beds at all times, including on the nights of their arrest or citation, Los Angeles has encroached upon Appellants' Eighth Amendment protections by criminalizing the unavoidable act of sitting, lying or sleeping at night while being involuntarily homeless.
... the Eighth Amendment prohibits the City from punishing involuntary sitting, lying, or sleeping on public sidewalks that is an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter in the City of Los Angeles.
... By our decision, we in no way dictate to the City that it must provide sufficient shelter for the homeless, or allow anyone who wishes to sit, lie, or sleep on the streets of Los Angeles at any time and at any place within the City. All we hold is that, so long as there is a greater number of homeless individuals in Los Angeles than the number of available beds, the City may not enforce section 41.18(d) at all times and places throughout the City against homeless individuals for involuntarily sitting, lying, and sleeping in public.
On June 19, 2014 the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down a 1983 ordinance in the city of Los Angeles which "bans people from living in cars or recreational vehicles on city streets or in parking lots" as being "unconstitutionally vague ... Unlike other cities, which ban overnight parking or sleeping in vehicles, Los Angeles' law prohibits using cars as 'living quarters; both overnight and 'day-by-day, or otherwise.'"
Homeless rights advocates are pushing for "Right to Rest" bills in several states in 2015, which would overturn laws that target homeless people for sitting, eating, and sleeping in public places.
Crimes against homeless people
The past two decades have seen a growing number of violent acts committed upon people experiencing homelessness—the rate of such documented crimes in 2005 was 30% higher than of those in 1999. 75 percent of all perpetrators are under the age of 25.
In recent years, largely due to the efforts of the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and academic researchers, the problem of violence against homeless people has gained national attention. In their report: Hate, Violence, and Death on Mainstreet USA, the NCH reported 386 violent acts committed against homeless persons over the period, among which 155 were lethal. The NCH called those acts hate crimes (they retain the definition of the American Congress). They insist that so called bumfight videos disseminate hate against homeless people and dehumanize them.
The Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism (CSHE) at California State University, San Bernardino in conjunction with the NCH found that 155 homeless people were killed by non-homeless people in "hate killings", while 76 people were killed in all the other traditional hate crime homicide categories such as race and religion, combined. The CSHE contends that negative and degrading portrayals of people that are homeless contribute to a climate where violence takes place.
Various studies and surveys indicate that homeless people have a much higher criminal victimization rate than the non-homeless, but that most incidents never get reported to authorities. A 2007 study found that the number of violent crimes against homeless people is increasing. In 2013 there were 109 attacks on homeless people, a 24 percent increase on the previous year, according to the NCH. Eighteen people died as a result of the attacks. In July 2014 three boys 15, 16 and 18, were arrested and charged with beating to death two homeless men with bricks and a metal pole in Albuquerque.
A 2011 study led by Dr. Rebecca T. Brown in Boston, Massachusetts conducted by the Institute for Aging Research (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program found the elderly homeless population had "higher rates of geriatric syndromes, including functional decline, falls, frailty and depression, than seniors in the general population and that many of these conditions may be easily treated if detected". The report was published in the Journal of Geriatric Internal Medicine.
Situations in specific U.S. cities and states
Many advocates for homeless people contend that a key difficulty is the social stigma surrounding homelessness. Many associate a lack of a permanent home with a lack of a proper bathroom and limited access to regular grooming. Thus, people that are homeless become "aesthetically unappealing" to the general public. Research shows that "physically attractive persons are judged more positively than physically unattractive individuals on various traits... reflecting social competence."
In addition to the physical component of stigmatization exists an association of homeless people with mental illness. Many people consider the mentally ill to be irresponsible and childlike and treat them with fear and exclusion, using their mental incapacitation as justification for why they should be left out of communities.
There is anecdotal evidence that many Americans complain about the presence of homeless people, blame them for their situation, and feel that their requests for money or support (usually via begging) are unjustified. In the 1990s, particularly, many observers and media articles spoke of "compassion fatigue" a belief that the public had grown weary of this seemingly intractable problem.
A common misconception persists that many individuals who panhandle are not actually homeless, but actually use pity and compassion to fund their lifestyles, making up to $20 an hour and living luxurious lives. This exception to the rule seems more prevalent due to media attention, but in reality, only a few cases exist.
Public opinion surveys show relatively little support for this view, however. A 1995 paper in the American Journal of Community Psychology concluded that "although the homeless are clearly stigmatized, there is little evidence to suggest that the public has lost compassion and is unwilling to support policies to help homeless people." A Penn State study in 2004 concluded that "familiarity breeds sympathy" and greater support for addressing the problem.
A 2007 survey conducted by Public Agenda, a nonprofit organization that helps leaders and their citizens navigate through complex social issues, found that 67 percent of New Yorkers agreed that most homeless people were without shelter because of "circumstances beyond their control," including high housing costs and lack of good and steady employment. More than one-third (36 percent) said they worried about becoming homeless themselves, with 15 percent saying they were "very worried." More interestingly, 90 percent of New Yorkers believed that everyone has a right to shelter, and 68 percent believed that the government is responsible for guaranteeing that right to its citizens. The survey found support for investments in prevention, rental assistance and permanent housing for homeless people.
Public Agenda has also concluded, however, that the public's sympathy has limits. In a 2002 national survey, the organization found 74 percent say the police should leave a homeless person alone if they are not bothering anyone. In contrast, 71 percent say the police should move homeless people if they are keeping customers away from a shopping area and 51 percent say homeless people should be moved if they are driving other people away from a public park.
Statistics and demographics
Completely accurate and comprehensive statistics are difficult to acquire for any social study, but especially so when measuring the ambiguous hidden, and erratic reality of homelessness. All figures given are estimates. In addition, these estimates represent overall national averages; the proportions of specific homeless communities can vary substantially depending on local geography.
Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress
Perhaps the most accurate, comprehensive, and current data on homelessness in the United States is reported annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR), released in June of every year since 2007. The AHAR report relies on data from two sources: single-night, point-in-time counts of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations reported on the Continuum of Care applications to HUD; and counts of the sheltered homeless population over a full year provided by a sample of communities based on data in their Management Information Systems (HMIS).
Over the course of the year (October 2009 – September 2010), the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report found that 1,593,150 individuals experienced homelessness Most were homeless temporarily. The chronically homeless population (those with repeated episodes or who have been homeless for long periods) decreased from 175,914 in 2005 to 123,833 in 2007.
According to the NCHWIH report:
- 51.3% are single males.
- 24.7% are single females.
- 23% are families with children—the fastest growing segment.
- 5% are minors unaccompanied by adults.
- 1.37 million (or 39%) of the total homeless population are children under the age of 18.
According to the 2014 NCHWIH report:
- 24% are married.
- 76% are single.
- 67.5% are single males within the single percentage.
- 32.5% are single females within the single percentage.
Race and Ethnicity
According to the 2010 SAMHSA report, among long-term stayers (persons staying six months or more) in emergency shelters in 2008:
- 56.6% were Black/African-American
- 28.7% were Hispanic/Latino
According to the 2014 NCHWIH report:
- 42% are African American (over-represented 3.23x compared to 13% of general population).
- 38% are Caucasian (under-represented 0.53x compared to 72% of general population).
- 20% are Hispanic (over-represented 1.25x compared to 16% of general population).
- 4% are Native American (over-represented 4x compared to 1% of general population).
- 2% are Asian-American (under-represented 0.4x compared to 5% of general population).
According to the 2010 SAMHSA report:
- 26.2% of all sheltered persons who were homeless had a severe mental illness
- About 30% of people who are chronically homeless have mental health conditions.
According to analyses of data from the 1996 NSHAPCxiv:
- Over 60% of people who are chronically homeless have experienced lifetime mental health problems
According to the 2010 SAMHSA report:
- 34.7% of all sheltered adults who were homeless had chronic substance abuse issues
- About 50% of people who are chronically homeless co-occurring substance abuse problems.
According to analyses of data from the 1996 NSHAPCxiv:
- Over 80% have experienced lifetime alcohol and/or drug problems
According to the 1996 Urban Institute findings of the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (UIHAC) report
- 53% have less than a high school education
- 21% have completed high school
- 27% have some education beyond high school.
According to the 1996 UIHAC report
- 44 percent did paid work during the past month. Of these:
- 20 percent worked in a job lasting or expected to last at least three months.
- 25 percent worked at a temporary or day labor job.
- 2 percent earned money by peddling or selling personal belongings.
According to the 2010 SAMHSA report:
According to the 2010 SAMHSA report: Research on shelter use in New York City and Philadelphia concluded that
- People experiencing transitional homelessness constitute 80% of shelter users
- People experiencing episodic homelessness comprise 10% of shelter users.
In New York City
- Transitionally homeless individuals experience an average of 1.4 stays over a 3-year period, for a total of 58 days on average over the 3 years.
- Episodically homeless individuals, on average, experience 4.9 shelter episodes over a 3-year period totaling 264 days with an average length of stay of 54.4 days.
Data from the 1996 NSHAPC show that about 50% of people who were homeless were experiencing their first or second episode of homelessness, which typically lasted a few weeks or months to one year.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Homelessness in the United States.|
- Back on My Feet
- Dignity Village
- Frontline Foundation
- Homeless ministry
- Homeless Women in the United States
- Homelessness among LGBT Youth in the United States
- Homelessness and mental health#United States
- Human rights in the United States
- List of tent cities in the United States
- Mole People
- Poverty in the United States
- Soup kitchen
- Tent city
- Vagrancy (people)
- Kusmer, Kenneth (2002). Down And Out, On the Road: The Homeless in American History. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- "HUD 5th Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress" (PDF). Huduser.org. June 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "Facts and Figures:The Homeless". PBS. June 26, 2009.
- David Crary and Lisa Leff (November 17, 2014). New Report: Child Homelessness on the Rise in US. The Associated Press. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment report (AHAR) to Congress" (PDF). The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. p. 42.
- "Wayback Machine" (PDF). archive.org. December 1, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
- A New Look at Homelessness in America, Urban Institute, February 1, 2000
- America's Homeless: Populations and Services, Urban Institute, February 1, 2000
- Vacant Houses Outnumber Homeless People in U.S. Truthdig, December 31, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- Marjorie Keniston McIntosh (1998). Controlling Misbehavior in England,1370–1600. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-89404-2.
- Convict Voyages (1): Overview, by Anthony Vaver, Early American Crime, January 6, 2009
- "New York City Rescue Mission website". Retrieved September 17, 2014.
- History of the New York Rescue Mission Archived November 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- Depastino, Todd, "Citizen Hobo: How a Century of Homelessness Shaped America", Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2003. ISBN 0-226-14378-3. (Interview with Todd Depastino)
- "Riding the Rails". Retrieved September 17, 2014.
- Salvation Army, "History of The Salvation Army Social Services of Greater New York" Archived January 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "The history of The Bowery Mission, Mont Lawn Camp, and Mont Lawn City Camp | The Bowery Mission". Bowery.org. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- Overproduction of Goods, Unequal Distribution of Wealth, High Unemployment, and Massive Poverty Archived February 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., From: President's Economic Council
- "The men on skid row: A study of Philadelphia's homeless man population", Department of Psychiatry, Temple University School of Medicine, November 1960.
- Rochefort DA (1984). "Origins of the "Third psychiatric revolution": the Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963". J Health Polit Policy Law. 9 (1): 1–30. PMID 6736594. doi:10.1215/03616878-9-1-1.
- Feldman S (June 1983). "Out of the hospital, onto the streets: the overselling of benevolence". Hastings Cent Rep. 13 (3): 5–7. JSTOR 3561609. PMID 6885404. doi:10.2307/3561609.
- Borus JF (August 1981). "Sounding Board. Deinstitutionalization of the chronically mentally ill". N. Engl. J. Med. 305 (6): 339–42. PMID 7242636. doi:10.1056/NEJM198108063050609.
- Scherl DJ, Macht LB (September 1979). "Deinstitutionalization in the absence of consensus". Hosp Community Psychiatry. 30 (9): 599–604. PMID 223959. doi:10.1176/ps.30.9.599.[permanent dead link]
- Joint Hearing op. cit., May 1984, p. 32 IUD Office for Policy Development and Research, A Report to the Secretary on the Homeless and Emergency Shelters, May 1, 1986.
- "Programs | Funding & Programs | United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)". Usich.gov. Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- Common Dreams: Urban Suffering Grew Under Reagan Archived May 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- National Housing Institute: Reagan's Legacy: Homelessness in America.
- "First Annual Homelessness Assessment Report" (PDF). Huduser.org.
- Employment and Homelessness. National Coalition for the Homeless, July 2009.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, "The Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (2008)", July 2009
- United States Conference of Mayors, "A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities: a 27-city survey", December 2001.
- "A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities" (PDF). December 2005. pp. 63–64.
- "Survey Cities Say Lack of Federal Commitment to Hurricane Evacuees Will Strain Local Limited Resources" (PDF). Archived from (62.3 KB) the original (PDF) on February 13, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "Survey Cities Say Lack of Federal Commitment to Hurricane Evacuees Will Strain Local Limited Resources". Archived from the original on November 12, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Vanneman, Reeve, "Main Causes of Homelessness", University of Maryland
- Cf. Levinson, Encyclopedia of Homelessness, article entry on Causes of Homelessness: Overview by Paul Koegel, pp. 50–58.
- Center for Housing Policy: Paycheck to Paycheck.
- Karaca Z (AHRQ), Wong H (AHRQ), Mutter R (AHRQ). "Characteristics of Homeless and Non-Homeless Individuals Using Inpatient and Emergency Department Services", 2008. HCUP Statistical Brief #152. March 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
- Wenzell, SL. "Homelessness Among Veterans: Self-Inflicted or Government Betrayal?". Veteran's Today. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Piasecki, Joe."Throwaway kids: Thousands of area foster children leave county care for a dangerous and desperate life on the streets", Pasadena Weekly, June 22, 2006.
- Fagan, Kevin, "Saving foster kids from the streets", San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, April 11, 2004.
- Amland, Bjoehn. "Natural Disasters Displaced 42 Million In 2010; Climate Change Could Be Factor, Experts Say". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- National Reentry Resource Center, Travis, J. 2000. But They All Come Back: Rethinking Prisoners Reentry. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. NCJ 181413.
- Quintana, Nico S.; Josh Rosenthal & Jeff Krehely (June 21, 2010). "Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers". Center for American Progress. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- Treves, Gabe. "More Than 38 Percent of Foreclosed Homes in California are Rentals:Over 200,000 Tenants Directly Affected". California Progress Report. Archived from the original on January 5, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Willick, Jason. "Homeless by Choice". The Daily Californian. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Lyon-Callo, Vincent (2004). Inequality, Poverty, and Neoliberal Governance: Activist Ethnography in the Homeless Sheltering Industry. University of Toronto Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4426-0086-7.
- United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, "Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program" Archived February 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "HPRP Program Details". Case Manager. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- National Alliance to End Homelessness, "Summary of HEARTH Act", June 8, 2009
- "The HEARTH Act – An Overview" Archived October 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Washington, D.C.
- National Coalition for the Homeless, "NCH Public Policy Recommendations: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization", Washington, D.C., September 14, 2009
- "HUD Press Release, December 1, 2010". Portal.hud.gov:80. December 1, 2010. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Opening Doors" (PDF). Usich.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 25, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- USICH, "Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
- Barbara Poppe (June 16, 2010). "Opening Doors | The White House". Whitehouse.gov. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Bill Boyarsky: Finally Acknowledging the Obvious, Los Angeles Moves to Declare a State of Emergency on Homelessness". Truthdig.com. March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "Home". Coalition For The Homeless. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- The rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pursuant to the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act of 1987, as amended by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 11301 et. seq.
- "The 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress" (PDF). Husueser.org. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- The National Center on Family Homelessness (December 2011). "America's Youngest Outcasts 2010" (PDF). State Report Card on Child Homelessness. The National Center on Family Homelessness. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Andrew Mach (December 13, 2011). "Homeless children at record high in US. Can the trend be reversed?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
- "State of the Homeless 2012" Coalition for the Homeless, June 8, 2012.
- Petula Dvorak (February 8, 2013). "600 homeless children in D.C., and no one seems to care". Washington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
- Bassuk, E.L., et al. (2011) America's Youngest Outcasts: 2010 (Needham, MA: The National Center on Family Homelessness) page 20
- Flowers (2010), p. 1
- Flowers (2010), p. 53
- Flowers (2010), p. 55
- Flowers (2010), p. 48
- Flowers (2010), p. 161
- Flowers (2010), p. 65
- "Help for Homeless College Students". Affordable Colleges Online. August 19, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "Help for Homeless College Students". Affordable Colleges Online. August 19, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "College Guide for Homeless Students". OnlineColleges.net. October 21, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "Mission | The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth". Naehcy.org. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "When Homeless Youth Attend College, Where Do They Stay?". Endhomelessness.org. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- H.L. Corliss, et al. 2011, "Discussion."
- "FACS | Homeless Children, Poverty, Faith and Community: Understanding and Reporting the Local Story". Akron, Ohio: Facsnet.org. March 26, 2002.
- City Mayors Society: Big U.S. Cities Report Steep Rise in Hunger and Homelessness.
- Burt, Martha R., "Characteristics of Transitional Housing for Homeless Families Final Report", Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., September 7, 2006,
- Dordick, Gwendolyn A. (March 2002). "Recovering from Homelessness: Determining the 'Quality of Sobriety' in a Transitional Housing Program". Journal Qualitative Sociology. 25 (1): 7–32. doi:10.1023/A:1014331106267.
- Karash, Robert L., "The Graduate" Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Spare Change News, Boston, March 11, 2010
- Kooker, Naomi R., "Pine St. adds to permanent housing holdings", Boston Business Journal, November 3, 2006.
- VHA Office of Mental Health. "The Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA's Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) Program". .va.gov. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A. (November 2013). "Homeless veterans in supported housing: Exploring the impact of criminal history". Psychological Services. 10 (4): 452–8. PMID 24079354. doi:10.1037/a0032775.
- Abel, David, "For the homeless, keys to a home: Large-scale effort to keep many off street faces hurdles", Boston Globe, February 24, 2008.
- Karash, Robert L., "Housing Lost, Housing Regained, Housing Kept" Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Spare Change News, Boston, February 25, 2010.
- Graves, Florence; Sayfan, Hadar, "First things first: 'Housing first,' a radical new approach to ending chronic homelessness, is gaining ground in Boston", Boston Globe, Sunday, June 24, 2007.
- Roncarati, Jill (June 2008). "Homeless, housed, and homeless again" (PDF). Journal of the American Academy of Physician's Assistants. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 30, 2008.
- "U.S. Department of Labor – ODEP – Office of Disability Employment Policy – Ending Chronic Homelessness through Employment and Housing Projects". Dol.gov. September 29, 2003. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "Locating New Page". Hud.gov. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "United States Department of Labor". Dol.gov. March 23, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "How Libraries Are Adapting To Help Homeless Find Jobs, Health Services". The Huffington Post. February 24, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- Tyler, Carolyn (May 24, 2010). "San Francisco library offers social services to homeless | abc7news.com". Abclocal.go.com. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- Knight, H. (January 11, 2010). Library adds social worker to assist homeless. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 17, 2010
- Collins, L., Howard, F., & Miraflor, A. (January 2009). Addressing the needs of the homeless: A San Jose Library partnership approach. The Reference Librarian, 50(1), 109–116. doi:10.1080/02763870802546472
- Sandi Fox, "From nurses to social workers, see how public libraries are serving the homeless", PBS NEWSHOUR, January 28, 2015
- Dallas Public Library, "What is the library doing to address the issue of homelessness?", Booked Solid, October 16, 2014
- "Homeless Man Sues Library, Police, Wins $250,000". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Google News. March 10, 1992.
- "Kreimer v. Morristown". www.ahcuah.com. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
- Abramson, Larry, "Amid Foreclosures, A Rise In Homeless Students", All Things Considered program, NPR, September 30, 2008.
- Nieves, Evelyn, "In Tough Times, Ranks of Homeless Students Rising: School districts find unprecedented increase in numbers of homeless students across US", Associated Press, December 19, 2008
- Duffield, Barbara; Lovell, Phillip, "The Economic Crisis Hits Home: The Unfolding Increase in Child & Youth Homelessness", National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), December 2008
- Barbara Ehrenreich (August 10, 2011) "How America criminalised poverty" The Guardian
- Baylen Linnekin (June 9, 2012) "Bans on Feeding the Homeless Are Discriminatory and Unconstitutional" Reason.org
- Robbie Couch (November 3, 2014). Fort Lauderdale Passes Law That Restricts Feeding Homeless People. The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
- Richard Luscombe (November 5, 2014). 90-year-old among Florida activists arrested for feeding the homeless. The Guardian. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
- Evelyn Nieves (March 31, 2014). United States Is Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading to Poor, UN Report Charges. Alternet. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- Ed Pilkington (March 13, 2014). US criticised by UN for human rights failings on NSA, guns and drones. The Guardian. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- Wilson Dizard (March 27, 2014). U.N. slams U.S. for torture, NSA spying. Al Jazeera America. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- U.N. Human Rights Committee Calls U.S. Criminalization of Homelessness "Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading". The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, March 27, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- National Coalition for the Homeless: A Dream Denied.
- "Portal | LexisNexis". Lexisone.com. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- L.A. Times: Justices Hand L.A.'s Homeless a Victory.
- "Portal | LexisNexis". Lexisone.com. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Isaiah Thompson (August 16, 2012) "City's homeless feeding ban takes a beating in judge's opinion" City Paper Archived June 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- Dolan, Maura; Maura Holland (June 19, 2014). "U.S. appeals court overturns L.A. ban on homeless living in vehicles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Renee Lewis (February 24, 2015). Slap by Florida cop highlights need for homeless rights, say advocates. Al Jazeera America. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
- National Coalition for the Homeless, Hate, "Violence, and Death on Main Street USA: A report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness, 2006" Archived April 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., February 2007.
- [permanent dead link]
- "Police arrest three teenagers for hammering homeless to death". Albuquerque News.Net. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
- "Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis" – OSHA notice, 1997.
- "Boston's Elderly Homeless Sicker Than Others, Research Finds", Science Daily, September 13, 2011.
- "Stereotyping Physical Attractiveness, A Sociocultural Perspective", Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1986.
- Corrigan, PW; Watson, AC (2002). "Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness". World Psychiatry. 1 (1): 16–20. PMC . PMID 16946807.
- Sanders, Hannah. "Panhandling in West Michigan: Report finds many are not homeless". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Keyes, Scott. "Everything You Think You Know About Panhandlers Is Wrong". Think Progress. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Link BG, Schwartz S, Moore R, et al. (August 1995). "Public knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about homeless people: evidence for compassion fatigue". Am J Community Psychol. 23 (4): 533–55. PMID 8546109. doi:10.1007/BF02506967.
- American Sociological Association: "Exposure to the Homeless Increases Sympathetic Public Attitudes" Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., press release, March 22, 2004.
- Public Agenda: "Compassion, Concern and Conflicted Feelings: New Yorkers on Homelessness and Housing", 2007, accessed July 8, 2016.
- Public Agenda: "Knowing It by Heart: Americans Consider the Constitution and its Meaning", 2002, retrieved July 8, 2016.
- Karash, Robert L., "Who is Homeless? The HUD Annual Report to Congress and Homelessness Pulse Project" Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Spare Change News, Boston, June 18, 2010
- "Homeless children at record high in US. Can the trend be reversed?" Christian Science Monitor, December 13, 2011
- "600 homeless children in D.C., and no one seems to care" Washington Post, February 8, 2013
- "Current Statistics on the Prevalence and Characteristics of People Experiencing Homelessness in the United States" (PDF). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. May 10, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2007.
- "There are several national estimates of homelessness. Many are dated, or based on dated information. For all of the reasons discussed above, none of these estimates is the definitive representation of "how many people are homeless." In a recent approximation USA Today estimated 1.6 million people unduplicated persons used transitional housing or emergency shelters. Of these people, approximately 1/3 are members of households with children, a nine percent increase since 2007. Another approximation is from a study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty which states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2007". Retrieved August 2, 2011.
- "U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development". Hud.gov. Archived from the original on August 6, 2008.
- National Coalition for the Homeless Who is homeless?, Published by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCHWIH) Archived April 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "The 1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients: A Comparison of Faith-Based and Secular Non-Profit Programs" (PDF). Urban Institute. 1996.
- "Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve – Findings of the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients". Urban Institute. 1999.
- Wasserman, J. A., & Clair, J. M. (2010). At Home On The Street . Boulder, Colorado: Lyne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
- Aguirre, Adalberto; Brooks, Jonathan. (2001), "City redevelopment policies and the criminalization of homelessness: A narrative case study", in Kevin Fox Gotham (ed.) Critical Perspectives on Urban Redevelopment (Research in Urban Sociology, Volume 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 75–105
- American Library Association, Social Responsibilities Round Table, Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force. (n.d.). Resources. Retrieved December 13, 2010
- Barry, Ellen, "A Refugee's Triumph Over Desolation", Boston Globe, December 28, 2003.
- Baumohl, Jim, (editor), "Homelessness in America", Oryx Press, Phoenix, 1996. ISBN 0-89774-869-7
- Booth, Brenda M., Sullivan, J. Greer, Koegel, Paul, Burnam, M. Audrey, "Vulnerability Factors for Homelessness Associated with Substance Dependence in a Community Sample of Homeless Adults", RAND Research Report. Originally published in: American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, v. 28, no. 3, 2002, pp. 429–452.
- Bley, D. (January 19, 2011). Raising the visibility of family homelessness in Washington state
- Borchard, Kurt, Homeless in Las Vegas: Stories from the Street, University of Nevada Press, 2011
- Borchard, Kurt, The Word on the Street: Homeless Men in Las Vegas, University of Nevada Press, 2005
- Burke, Kerry, Fox, Alison, Martinez, Jose, "Hobo Madness hits Mad. Ave.: Bizman Sues Homeless for $", New York Daily News, January 18, 2007.
- Center for Social Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston, "Hard Numbers, Hard Times: Homeless Individuals in Massachusetts Emergency Shelters 1999–2003", July 2004.
- Coalition for the Homeless (New York), "A History of Modern Homelessness in New York City".
- Crimaldi, Laura, "Cardinal spends time with homeless", Boston Herald, December 26, 2006.
- Crimaldi, Laura, "Homeless Advocates Urge no Diversion of Shelter Funds", Boston Herald, Wednesday, February 14, 2007.
- Crimaldi, Laura, "Champion for homeless fights for life", Boston Herald, Sunday, September 21, 2008. About Richard Weintraub, Director of Homeless Services for Boston, Massachusetts. The article has some modern history of homelessness in Boston.
- CSPTech, University of Massachusetts, Boston, "Characteristics of Homeless Families Accessing Massachusetts Emergency Shelters 1999–2001", April 2003.
- Culhane, Dennis, "Responding to Homelessness: Policies and Politics", 2001.
- deMause, Neil, "Out of the Shelter, Into the Fire: New city program for homeless: Keep your job or keep your apartment", The Village Voice, New York, June 20, 2006.
- DePastino, Todd, "Citizen Hobo: How a Century of Homelessness Shaped America", 2003. ISBN 0-226-14378-3
- Desjarlais, Robert R., Shelter blues: sanity and selfhood among the homeless, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997. A particular study of homeless people in the Boston area.
- Dreier, Peter; Appelbaum, Richard, "American Nightmare: Homelessness", Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs, v.34, n.2, March/April 1991, pp. 46–52.
- Flowers, R. Barri (2010). Street Kids: the Lives of Runaway and Thrownaway Teens. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-5663-5.
- Freeman, Richard B.; Hall, Brian, "PERMANENT HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA?", Working Paper No. 2013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 1986
- Friedman, Donna Haig, et al., "Preventing Homelessness and Promoting Housing Stability : A Comparative Analysis", The Boston Foundation and UMASS/Boston Center for Social Policy, June 2007.
- Gatto, Nora, "Vincent", Niagara University, Eagle Alumni Magazine, Fall 2006, p. 12.
- Human Rights Watch. (2010). My so-called emancipation from foster care to homelessness for California youth. Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/us0410webwcover.pdf
- Institute for Governmental Studies, Berkeley, "Urban Homelessness & Public Policy Solutions: A One-Day Conference", January 22, 2001.
- Hoch, Charles; Slayton, Robert A., New Homeless and Old: Community and the Skid Row Hotel, Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1989. ISBN 0-87722-600-8
- Kahn, Ric, "Buried in obscurity: Found dead on Causeway Street in June, his body awaits a nameless final rest", Boston Globe, December 17, 2006. A story about a Beacon Hill church pausing to remember the recently departed homeless.
- Katz, Celeste, "Public Advocate Bill de Blasio To BBH Global: Keep Your "Homeless Hotspot" Stunt Out Of NYC", The New York Daily News, March 13, 2012
- Katz, Jessica Ilana, "Homelessness, Crime, Mental Illness, and Substance Abuse: A Core Population with Multiple Social Service Needs", Department of Urban Planning and Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2003
- Keen, J. (December 13, 2010). Libraries welcome homeless to 'community living rooms.' USA Today Retrieved December 13, 2010
- Knight, H. (January 11, 2010). Library adds social worker to assist homeless. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Library-adds-social-worker-to-assist-homeless-3275950.php
- Koebel, C. Theodore (1998). Shelter and Society: Theory, Research, and Policy for Nonprofit Housing. SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-3789-2.
- Kuhlman, Thomas L., Psychology on the streets : mental health practice with homeless persons, New York : J. Wiley & Sons, 1994. ISBN 0-471-55243-7
- Kusmer, Kenneth L., "Down and Out, On the Road: The Homeless in American History", Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-19-504778-8
- Leeder, K. (December 1, 2010). Welcoming the Homeless into Libraries. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Retrieved from http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2010/welcoming-the-homeless-into-libraries/
- Levinson, David, ed. (2004). Encyclopedia of Homelessness. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. ISBN 0-7619-2751-4.
- Lowe, Eugene T. (13 December 2016), The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Report on Hunger and Homelessness: A Status Report on Homelessness and Hunger in America’s Cities, Washington, DC: U.S. Conference of Mayors, retrieved 16 September 2017
- Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, "Down & Out Resource Manual", 2005.
- The Massachusetts Commission to End Homelessness, "Report of the Special Commission Relative to Ending Homelessness in the Commonwealth", Boston, Massachusetts, December 28, 2007 (January 2008).
- Massachusetts, Commonwealth of, "Housing the Homeless: a more effective approach", Governor's Executive Commission for Homeless Services Coordination, November 2003.
- Morton, Margaret, "The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City", Yale University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-300-06559-0
- National Coalition for the Homeless, "American Nightmare: A Decade of Homelessness in the United States"[permanent dead link], December 1989
- National Coalition for the Homeless. (July 2009) "Homes Not Handcuffs: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities". Retrieved December 13, 2010,.
- National Coalition for the Homeless and The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (9 January 2006), A Dream Denied: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities (PDF), Washington, DC: Authors, retrieved 16 September 2017
- Nieto G., Gittelman M., Abad A. (2008). "Homeless Mentally Ill Persons: A bibliography review", International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. 12(2)
- O'Flaherty, Brendan, "Making room : the economics of homelessness", Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-674-54342-4
- Quigley, John M.; Raphael, Steven, "The Economics of Homelessness: The Evidence from North America", European Journal of Housing Policy 1(3), 2001, 323–336
- Radin, Charles A., "On the street, a quiet outreach of kindness: Little Brothers lift the less fortunate", Boston Globe, December 18, 2006.
- Riis, Jacob, How the Other Half Lives, 1890.
- Rossi, Peter H., Down and Out in America: The Origins of Homelessness, University of Chicago Press, 1991.
- Russell, Jenna, "In their shoes: To better understand the plight of the homeless, Harvard student takes to the streets", Boston Globe, August 9, 2009
- Ryan, Charles V., "Homes Within Reach: Springfield's 10-year plan to end long term homelessness", City of Springfield, Massachusetts, Mayor Charles V. Ryan, January 2007.
- Sanburn, Josh., Bans Around U.S. Face Challenges in Court, October 10, 2013.
- Schneider, P. (November 17, 2010). Can remodeled library attract public, suit homeless? The Cap Times. Retrieved from http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_b6913072-f1c9-11df-9464-001cc4c002e0.html
- Schutt, Russell K., PhD, Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston.
- Schutt, Russell K., et al., "Boston's Homeless, 1986–1987: Change and Continuity", 1987.
- Schutt, Russell K., Working with the Homeless: the Backgrounds, Activities and Beliefs of Shelter Staff, 1988.
- Schutt, Russell, K., "Homeless Adults in Boston in 1990: A Two-Shelter Profile", 1990.
- Schutt, Russell K., Garrett, Gerald R., "Responding to the Homeless: Policy and Practice", Topics in Social Psychiatry, 1992. ISBN 0-306-44076-8
- Schutt, Russell K., Byrne, Francine, et al., "City of Boston Homeless Services: Employment & Training for Homeless Persons", 1995.
- Schutt, Russell K., Feldman, James, et al., "Homeless Persons' Residential Preferences and Needs: A Pilot Survey of Persons with Severe Mental Illness in Boston Mental Health and Generic Shelters", 2004.
- Sommer, Heidi, "Homelessness in Urban America: a Review of the Literature", 2001
- St. Mungo's organisation (UK), "A Brief History of Homelessness"
- Stern, H. (1992). "Aimless and homeless, he wins fortune in court lawsuit: Library who banned him, police who harassed him, wish they hadn't—to the tune of $250,000". Los Angeles Times Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- Stewart B. McKinney Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11301, et seq. (1994). Retrieved December 1, 2010.
- Stringer, Lee, Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street, 1st ed., New York : Seven Stories Press, 1998. ISBN 1-888363-57-6
- Szantos, Ruth  Excuse Me- Can You Spare Some Change in This Economy- A Socio-Economic History of Anti-Panhandling Laws, 2010
- Vissing, Yvonne "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Homeless Children and Families in Small-Town America", 1996.
- Vissing, Yvonne, "The $ubtle War Against Children", Fellowship, March/April 2003
- Vladeck, Bruce, R., and the Committee on Health Care for Homeless People, Institute of Medicine, "Homelessness, Health, and Human needs"[permanent dead link], National Academies Press, 1988
- Toth, Jennifer, The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City, 1993. ISBN 1-55652-190-1
- United States Conference of Mayors, "Hunger and Homelessness Survey", December 2005.
- United States Department of Health and Human Services, "Ending Chronic Homelessness: Strategies for Action", Report from the Secretary's Work Group on Ending Chronic Homelessness, March 2003.
- University of Vermont, "It starts With a Bed: UVM alums Richard Weintraub & Lyndia Downie lead fight to break cycle of homelessness in Boston, Vermont Quarterly, Fall 2002.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2009). 2009 Annual homeless assessment report to congress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
- Wagner, David. Checkerboard Square: Culture and Resistance in a Homeless Community (Boulder: Westview Press), 1993. ISBN 0-8133-1585-9
- Ward,C. (2007). What they didn't teach us in library school; how the library became Heartbreak Hotel. TomDispatch.com. Retrieved from http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174799/ward_how_the_public_library_became_heartbreak_hotel
- Woolhouse, Megan, "Homes for the holiday: Housing agency, nonprofit team up to help the homeless", Boston Globe, December 25, 2007.
- Wortham, Jenna, "Use of Homeless as Internet Hot Spots Backfires on Marketer", The New York Times, March 12, 2012
- Wright, James D., "Address Unknown: the homeless in America", New York : A. de Gruyter, Edition: 3, 1989
- National Coalition for the Homeless
- National Alliance to End Homelessness
- Corporation for Supportive Housing
- National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
- National Low Income Housing Coalition
- U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness – US Government
- United States Department of Housing and Urban Development site on Homelessness
- United States Department of Health and Human Services site on Homelessness
- National Center on Family Homelessness
- National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness (USA)
- Housing and Homelessness research on IssueLab