Homelessness : Housing And Urban Development

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homelessness, when you think of a homeless person the first thing that might pop into your head is some old man on the side of the road with a sign, or a dirty drug addicted mental case loser, or someone pushing a shopping cart full of junk. However, homelessness is more complex than you would think, and a tremendous problem in America, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Although homelessness has been documented in America since 1640, it did not become a problem until the 1980’s, when housing and social service cuts increased and the economy deteriorated. Now, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 564,708 people in the United States were experiencing homelessness on a single night, January 2015. Despite this number being high, it has decreased 26% since 2005, increasing once in the past 11 years. (See Graph 1 Below) What does it mean to be homeless? The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) places a homeless person into one of four categories. The most commonly known type of homelessness is categorized as “literally homeless: An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence.” Apart from being literally homeless, there are also people who fall into a category called “imminent risk of homelessness,” which is “an individual or family who will imminently lose their primary night-time residence.” The last two categories one can fall into are “homeless under other Federal statues, or

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