US Homelessness is Way Down; So Why Isn't Anyone Talking About It?

Despite a deep recession driven by a housing bust, the National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that homelessness dropped by 17 percent from 2005 to 2012. This is astonishing news, right? So why aren't politicians trumpeting this decline?
kupiasity / Flickr

From President George W. Bush’s "housing first" program to President Obama's Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, federal initiatives have been remarkably successful in reducing homelessness. "The decline of homelessness over the past eight years is nothing short of a blue-moon public policy triumph," writes Stephen Lurie. "Why don’t you know about it?"

"Could it be because we’d prefer not to hear about it?" he asks. "In the next few years, as Washington looks to cut spending across the board, the public’s aversion to homelessness could contribute to its return." 

"As quietly as homelessness has fallen, so too it will go up quietly – unless there is major intervention," Lurie cautions. "The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that sequestration cuts from homelessness programs are set to expel 100,000 people from a range of housing and shelter programs this year. That’s nearly one sixth of the current total homeless population. Far from gently raising the homeless rate, it would undo a full decade of progress."


Full Story: The Astonishing Decline of Homelessness in America

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00