About our US Homelessness news
Latest news on homelessness in the US, a condition wherein people lack a fixed, regular, and adequate residence. In 2020, it was estimated that over half a million people were homeless, and some of them were chronically homeless or unsheltered.
Homelessness is mainly caused by the lack of affordable housing, which is a result of decades of policies that stopped the US from building enough housing. Seven million extremely low-income renters cannot get affordable homes, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the homelessness crisis, as many people lost their jobs and income and faced eviction or foreclosure. Shelters across the US are reporting a surge in people looking for help, with wait lists doubling or tripling in recent months. The number of homeless people outside of shelters is also probably rising, experts say. Some of them live in encampments, which have popped up in parks and other public spaces in major cities since the pandemic began.
The federal government has taken some steps to address the homelessness crisis, such as providing emergency rental assistance, extending eviction moratoriums, and increasing funding for homeless services and housing vouchers. However, these measures are temporary and may not be enough to meet the growing demand for housing assistance.
The homelessness crisis has also become a political problem for the Democrats who govern big cities, where it is most visible. It has played a role in recent elections, such as the recall of San Francisco's district attorney. More Americans now say they worry a great deal about homelessness compared with the years before the pandemic.
There are different opinions on how to solve the homelessness crisis. Some advocates argue for a housing-first approach, which prioritizes providing permanent housing to homeless people without preconditions or requirements for services. They claim that this approach is more effective and humane than traditional models that require homeless people to meet certain criteria or participate in programs before getting housing.
Others argue that housing alone is not enough, and that homeless people need more support and accountability to address their underlying issues, such as mental illness, addiction, or criminal behavior. They claim that this approach is more realistic and responsible than giving homeless people free housing without any expectations or obligations.
Some also argue that homelessness is not only a housing problem, but also a social problem that requires broader changes in society, such as reducing income inequality, improving education and health care access, and reforming criminal justice and immigration policies. They claim that these changes are necessary to prevent and end homelessness in the long term.