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Homelessness a Growing Problem in Lock Step with the Sinking Economy

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What does a homeless person look like? It may not be what you think:

· 39% of all homeless people are under the age of 18

· 42% of homeless children are under the age of five

· Families with children make up 33% of the homeless

· Homelessness is mostly caused by poverty and lack of affordable housing, with substance abuse or mental illness making up much smaller percentages

· About 50 percent of the homeless are African-American, 35 percent Caucasian, 12 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Native American, and 1 percent Asian.

· Veterans constitute 40% of the homeless

· 25% of homeless adults are employed

Now, with the economic crisis affecting the U.S. and subsequently rippling across the globe, expect to see more homelessness due to foreclosures in real estate. Both homeowners and renters of foreclosed properties will be affected. Does this stark increase look ominous?

Foreclosures January through August

2006: 801,354

2007: 1,341,295

2008: 2,049,782


Statistics on Homeless Children & Youth, by MISD

United States Homeless Statistics, by LAHSC

Homeless numbers alarming, by USA Today


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Carolyn Brodersen is a nonfiction writer, award-winning political and food blogger. She also pens book reviews, health articles, and how-tos. She is a published poet, with her works appearing in literary magazines and anthologies.

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