Skip to comments.High Rents, Low Wages and the Coming Homeless Surge
Posted on 01/22/2012 5:36:13 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Get ready for the next big financial bubblethe growth of Americas homeless population.
The biggest boon for the homeless was President Obamas 2009 stimulus package, that appropriated $1.5 billion to the Homeless Prevention and Rapid-Re-Housing Program that temporarily aided homeless and near-homeless households. According to a report issued Wednesday by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the program has helped more than one million impoverished individuals find housing, but it is set to end this fall.
The resources provided by [the program] have run out in many communities and the debt and deficit at the federal level have already begun to shrink assistance available to the most vulnerable, Nan Roman, president and CEO of NAEH, said at a news conference. The failure to sustain this early recipe for success threatens to undermine progress now and in the future. A separate report from the same organization released in September noted that the ranks of the nations homeless could swell by five percent over the next three years if no similar programs replace the program.
The View from the Street Veda Simpson, a former methadone addict, was homeless for ten years, living in shelters, crack houses and what she dubbed abandominiums in public housing complexes. Then last year, thanks to a federal housing voucher, she moved into an apartment in Washington, D.C.s North Capitol area.
I used to go in the kitchen and fit my body up under the sink in the cabinetyou have to adjust your body to get up under thereand I used to have to sleep in there so security wouldnt find me, Simpson told the Fiscal Times. I slept in there for about six months, and it was rough.
Simpson, a vendor for StreetSense, a daily newspaper about the homeless, is one of thousands of people who managed to get off the streets and into housing in recent years, despite one of the worst recessions in modern history, according to experts and homeless advocates. Now she lives in subsidized housing with her eight cats, and says she is two months away from earning certification as a veterinary technician through an online program. Its really hard being homeless, she said. I dont see nobody who wants to continue like that. Theyre trying to better themselves.
There are glimmers of good news about the homeless. The NAEH report found a slight decrease in the overall number of people living on the street between 2009 and 2011 -- the ranks of the nations homeless fell by one percent, or about 7,000 people.
Across the country, 636,017 people were identified as homeless in 2011 compared to 643,067 in 2009, according to the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, Commerce and Health and Human Services.
With the troubling spectacle of homeless people and panhandlers loitering on street corners of downtown areas in many cities, its hard to imagine that the problem of homelessness is actually waning. The NAEH study cautions that the plight of the homeless is likely to grow more acute because of low-paying jobs, high housing costs and the loss of emergency federal assistance.
Double-Up Trouble One of the reports chief findings is that the number of people doubling upliving with friends, family, or nonrelativesrose by more than 50 percent between 2005 and 2010, and 13 percent between 2009 and 2010. Those arrangements are the most common gateway to homelessness, and the increases mean more people are getting to that last stage before they are forced onto the streets, Roman said. Doubled-up people have an elevated risk of homelessness .Thirty percent of all homeless shelter residents and 44 percent of adults in families who use homeless shelters were doubled-up prior to entering the shelter system, the report said.
Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., told reporters that children are bearing the worst of the emotional brunt of doubling up, and many of them show that by acting up in school.
The homeless people I see are not alcoholic, drunk men lying on a gratethe stereotype of a homeless person, said Moore, a member of both the House Budget and Financial Services Committees. Theyre kids who live with grandma one weekend, the other grandma the next, auntie the next week, moving from school to school to school.
The report also highlights the fast rising number of poor households that are devoting more than half their income to rent. Those families and groups are highly vulnerable to losing their housing in the coming years, the report stated. Between 2007 and 2010, there was a 22 percent increase in the number of these so-called severely housing cost burdened households.
Shamekia Murray knows this situation all too well. She couldnt keep up with her rent payments after she was forced to accept a $15,000-a-year pay cut at her Washington, D.C. community health clinic job. She and her then-five-year-old son were evicted from their apartment and her car was repossessed.
Murray and her son slept on friends and family members sofas for eight months, while she continued to hold down her job as a dental assistant. I wasnt used to having to ask someone, Can I borrow $20 to pay for the Metro subway? I was used to turning the key in my own home, having family gatherings, and having my son sleep in his own bed. All that got taken away from me in less than a year, she added. It got to the point where I just broke inside.
Murray, now 33, sought transitional housing for eight months to get on her feet before going out on her own. She recently received a job promotion, and now rents a two-bedroom apartment. Its a matter of knowing what it is that you want, and knowing that youre not ever going to go back, she said.
How’s that “free trade” thing working out, America?
I think it’s amazing how when the democrats are in charge there are no homeless or at least it’s not a problem
Exactly what do you have in mind when you say “free trade”?
Perfect timing......homeless population explosion just in time for a republican POTUS
MSM throws party.....
NYT buys extra barrels of ink....
HUD and Wall St. friends of BO will figure out a way to turn all those foreclosed homes into HUD Section 8s.
Taxpayers soon to be landlords without getting to put the rent checks in the bank!!!
So in other words we need to pay more taxes so the gubmint can pay the rent for the “homeless”.
Nothing is working out excellently.
America is falling into ruin.
Ditto. 1 percent spins they create jobs. Well their recklessness on Wall Street and protected by their puppets in Congress killed 11 million jobs. Who taught the Chinese and Indians how to do jobs Americans used to do? In 1980 China could not run a factory and be proficient as an American one. Who taught them? Corporate America (1 percenters) who thought they can make even more money by teaching Chinese workers how to do it. Same with Indian workers. I remember a Chinese American buddy of mine who worked for ATT was sent six months to Shanghai to teach the Chinese how to write software for a cellphone network. He was chosen because he can speak fluent Mandarin. I told him that if the Chinese master that his software division will be laid off by ATT. He acknowledged that. If he refused the assignment he will be on the shitlist for future layoffs. Three years later ATT laid off his entire division. All assignments were done by the Chinese. Those good paying jobs are now gone. So how will the families of the 1 percent go shopping if crime makes it unsafe for them to not have bodyguards? How much of their gross salaries must be taxed so sufficient food stamps and unemployment benefits are funded to prevent social unrest? Worst the PLA can access the technology to modernize and one day kick the US out of the Far East and the Western Pacific with the technology our greedy corporations gave them.
See how Easy it is. Initiate a program like this in the background; have the money run out; demonize Republicans for not wanting to extend these benefits; media starts their campaign, and we have another built-in welfare program forever. Nobody says they have to stop drugs, get treatment, go learn a trade...just add more money to the budget and go on our “merry way”. Been done thousands of times by the politicians.
ah contraire, my dear friend... it is all working out perfectly (for the communists) the increase in rules, regs, etc. and a president actively engaged in driving jobs offshore ( and the last president did his part too )and the generous government handouts, designed to create a permanent dependent class, have come together perfectly.... free trade is not the problem, communists and socialists are the problem, and as bad as fubo is, bushie 2 was not a whole hell of alot better.... entrenched ruling class politicans have to go, regardless of party affiliation... only then, can the American people once again move to the head of the line...
We respectfully disagree then.
“And yet the Washington establishment keeps pushing illegal immigration, etc. etc. etc.”
The housing problem is one of the reasons they push illegal immigration; they want the here as consumers (who might buy your house).
“Free trade” naturally causes the countries with the highest standard of living to fall as their workforce becomes too costly; why pay for an American worker, and deal with the safeguards involved, when you can have Red Chinese slaves knee-dip in mercury manufacturing everything?
The 1% does create jobs - in Asia.
You mean that system where when a bunch of bankers tank their portfolio, we bail them out and guarantee their bonuses? That free trade system?
It has been postulated that the next fiscal crises will result from the States being unable to meet pension obligations. Perhaps homelessness will be one of the effects.