Homelessness is a problem that can be invisible to many Americans. Those who live outside of major metropolitan areas may not glimpse the problems that homeless people face, and those who do live in the city are often accustomed to turning a blind eye to the problem. While homelessness in the United States is an unpleasant reality, there are options for helping out those who are living without housing or basic necessities due to illness or job loss.
Causes of Homelessness
Why are some people unable to find housing within their means? One reason is a lack of affordable housing for low-income individuals. Individuals living on minimum wage may be unable to afford rent, but some people who cannot afford to pay rent make too much money to qualify for housing assistance. Even if there are low-income communities, the wait times for these communities can be long. Poverty is a cycle that many people are unable to break free from. Poverty leads to a loss of housing, limited access to food and inadequate medical care. People who are living in poverty may be unable to find work because of their living situation, and the problem is compounded by this fact.
Statistics About Homelessness in the United States
Approximately 600,000 people are homeless in the U.S. Some of these people are temporarily living in their cars or without shelter entirely due to a situation beyond their control. While many people are only temporarily homeless, there are thousands of long-term homeless people living in the U.S. Nearly one-quarter of homeless people in the U.S. are children, and over 50,000 homeless people are veterans. Cities across the country have begun to make it illegal for a person to be homeless, so many individuals who are already dealing with a lack of proper shelter are being arrested when they attempt to rest in a public place. Laws related to homelessness vary by state and city, but over half of cities make it illegal to rest or sleep in a public place. About one-quarter of cities ban begging, and one-third of U.S. cities have laws banning loitering in any public place.
How To Help
What can be done to help those who are homeless in the U.S.? Shopping through Ripple Marketplace helps homeless people get the shelter that they need to survive and thrive. Select the desired crowdfunding project to receive 10 percent of the purchase price of items bought through the store to help reduce the rate of homelessness in the U.S.
"Helping the homeless" by Ed Yourdon from New York City, USA - Helping the homelessUploaded by Gary Dee. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons