There are half a million homeless people in the US, with 60,000 homeless people in New York City alone? A third of the country lives in poverty. Between 1/3 and 1/2 of those living in poverty have mental illness and about 1/3 have a disability. Just as many have drug problems. These staggering numbers may be a huge surprise to you. You may feel some pangs of sympathy before you finish reading this and go on with your day to day lives. Or you may even have the attitude that it’s their own fault and if they “just get a job” they wouldn’t be like this.
The NPR article on “Tackling homelessness in San Francisco, and beyond” does such a great job of informing us just how easy it is to end up homeless. Much of the homeless population is dealing with major life challenges including mental illness, disabilities, loss of jobs/income, and substance abuse problems. There is also a major overlap, meaning that any given individual may