Ending Homelessness

Is the problem solvable?


More than 2 million Americans are homeless during the course of a year, and the number is rising. About 40 percent are families with children, 30 percent are substance abusers, 23 percent are severely mentally ill and 10 percent are veterans. Advocates blame the growing problem on the sluggish economy, Congress' refusal to raise the minimum wage, rising unemployment and stricter welfare-eligibility requirements. The Bush administration declared a commitment to ending chronic homelessness in 10 years and is pressing Congress to pass the Samaritan Initiative, which would provide $70 million for housing and attendant care specifically for the chronically homeless. Critics say the proposal does not go far enough because the chronically homeless represent only 10-20 percent of the problem. Meanwhile, although new research clearly ...

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