25 Hard To Swallow Facts About Homelessness

Homelessness is one of those sad things that every culture has had to deal with to some extent since the beginning of civilization. However, different cultures have addressed the issue in different ways. For example, under more socialistic governmental systems, homeless people are typically handled by the government. This involves providing shelter, food, and clothing. Under more capitalist systems, they are typically handled by individuals and organizations. While neither one of these systems is better or worse, there is no system that has managed to fully get to the roots of the problem. This is just one of many sad facts about homelessness.

Oftentimes homelessness starts with mental issues, post traumatic stress disorder, drug use, and disability. One possible reaction is to assume the Darwinist position. This would say that those who cannot provide for themselves will either go hungry or not have a place to live. While most people don’t outright adhere to this position, it is often the underlying assumption that many of us have, especially when we simplify the position into lazy people and non-lazy people. Another possible position is to assume the altruist position. This would say that we should do everything we can to help those who have little. It too, often over simplifies the problem. Not all homeless people are the same and many require different types of assistance. These are 25 hard to swallow facts about homelessness.

25

California accounts for 20% of the homeless population in the United States

California accounts for 20% of the homeless population in the United StatesSource: hudexchange.info, Image: wikipedia
24

California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts account for half of the homeless population in the US

California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts account for half of the homeless population in the USSource: hudexchange.info, Image: wikipedia
23

1 out of every 50 American children will be homeless at some point in their lives

1 out of every 50 American children will be homeless at some point in their livesSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
22

The 3 most commonly cited causes of homelessness are poverty, lack of affordable housing, and unemployment

The 3 most commonly cited causes of homelessness are poverty, lack of affordable housing, and unemploymentSource: United States Conference of Mayors, Image: wikipedia
21

In any given year about 1 out of every 200 American adults will be homeless

In any given year about 1 out of every 200 American adults will be homelessSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
20

A growing number of anti-homelessness laws around the country has caused the United States to receive criticism from the United Nations Human Rights Committee

A growing number of anti-homelessness laws around the country has caused the United States to receive criticism from the United Nations Human Rights CommitteeSource: United Nations Human Rights Committee (2014), Image: wikipedia
19

At least 30 cities have criminalized giving food to the homeless

At least 30 cities have criminalized giving food to the homelessSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
18

In some areas, like Hawaii, officials have attempted to solve homelessness by providing one way plane tickets elsewhere

In some areas, like Hawaii, officials have attempted to solve homelessness by providing one way plane tickets elsewhereSource: time.com, Image: wikipedia
17

A study at Princeton found that our brains tend to process images of homeless people more like they process objects than actual human beings

A study at Princeton found that our brains tend to process images of homeless people more like they process objects than actual human beingsSource: time.com, Image: wikipedia
16

There is actually an entire generation of homeless Japanese youths who live and sleep in internet cafes

There is actually an entire generation of homeless Japanese youths who live and sleep in internet cafesSource: japan-talk.com, Image: wikipedia
15

A 59 year old homeless man in North Carolina held up a bank for $1 in order to be sent to jail and receive healthcare

A 59 year old homeless man in North Carolina held up a bank for $1 in order to be sent to jail and receive healthcareSource: rt.com, Image: wikipedia
14

Fatherless homes produce 70% of high school dropouts, 85% of kids in detention facilities, and 90% of homeless children

Fatherless homes produce 70% of high school dropouts, 85% of kids in detention facilities, and 90% of homeless childrenSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
13

Nearly one quarter of homeless people in the United States are veterans

Nearly one quarter of homeless people in the United States are veteransSource: nationalhomeless.org, Image: wikipedia
12

Nearly half of those veterans have a diagnosable mental illness

Nearly half of those veterans have a diagnosable mental illnessSource: nationalhomeless.org, Image: wikipedia
11

There has been a National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa every year for the past century. They even crown a King and Queen.

There has been a National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa every year for the past century. They even crown a King and Queen.Source: brittiowa.com, Image: wikipedia
10

The country of Albania built hundreds of thousands of bunkers under communism. Today some of them are used to house homeless people

The country of Albania built hundreds of thousands of bunkers under communism. Today some of them are used to house homeless peopleSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
9

Nearly 1/3 of homeless people in the United States are younger than 24

Nearly 1/3 of homeless people in the United States are younger than 24Source: U.S. Department for Housing and Development, Image: wikipedia
8

About half of the youth on the street report that their parents knew they were leaving but didn't care

About half of the youth on the street report that their parents knew they were leaving but didn't careSource: Why They Run: An In-Depth Look at America's Runaway Youth, Image: wikipedia
7

Sylvester Stallone was homeless and even sold his dog for $50. Not long after, however, he sold the script for Rocky and bought back his dog for $3,000

Sylvester Stallone was homeless and even sold his dog for $50. Not long after, however, he sold the script for Rocky and bought back his dog for $3,000Source: news.com.au, Image: wikipedia
6

Nearly 20% of youths will run away at least once

Nearly 20% of youths will run away at least onceSource: Urban Institute, Image: wikipedia
5

HIV rates are up to 9 times higher among the homeless than in comparative samples of the population

HIV rates are up to 9 times higher among the homeless than in comparative samples of the populationSource: Robertson, Marjorie. "Homeless Youth on Their Own.", Image: wikipedia
4

While veterans, people with disabilities, and single parent families have always been at risk of homelessness, these days more of the working class is at risk of homelessness than ever before

homelessSource: greendoors.org, Image: wikipedia
3

In some regions like Central Texas, the fastest growing population of homeless people is women and children

In some regions like Central Texas, the fastest growing population of homeless people is women and childrenSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
2

In 2012 a homeless woman in Canada returned a purse she found that contained $10,400

In 2012 a homeless woman in Canada returned a purse she found that contained $10,400Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
1

There are 5 times more vacant houses in the United States than the number of homeless people

There are 5 times more vacant houses in the United States than the number of homeless peopleSource: Amnesty International, Image: wikipedia


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