A Vulnerable Population: The Homeless in America

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A Vulnerable Population: The Homeless in America Introduction Homelessness in America should be a growing concern. When discussing the United States' current economic crisis comparisons with the Great Depression are becoming more and more common. Tent cities or makeshift shelters in specified areas or just beyond city limits are becoming familiar sites across the country. Each of these "cities" contains dozens if not hundreds of families struggling to just survive (Maide, 2010). Homelessness can be defined as the lack of a permanent, safe and affordable night-time residence. The exact statistics on homelessness are difficult to ascertain, as the precise number of people who experience homelessness is ever changing. Recently it's been estimated that about 1.6 million are people living in emergency shelters or transitional housing. The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (2012) estimated the annual homeless population to be roughly 3.5 million people. Of these 1.35 million are children. The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children. Discussion A recent study found that 1 out of 50 American children become homeless each year. On any given night more than 300,000 children are without a home. The study estimates that some 83% of homeless children will have been exposed to at least one serious violent event before they reach 12 years of age. Of those, nearly 25% will have witnessed acts of violence within their own families.
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