The Covid pandemic precipitated a surge in housing prices and an increase in unemployment, leaving practically 600,000 People unhoused in 2020.
“What individuals do not usually notice after they stroll previous an individual who’s homeless is that this particular person is costing taxpayers some huge cash,” mentioned Sam Tsemberis, chief govt officer at Pathways Housing First Institute.
In 2019, New York Metropolis spent a record-breaking $3 billion to assist its homeless inhabitants. California can be anticipated to interrupt its report, allocating $4.8 billion to the identical difficulty over the subsequent two years.
Regardless of the rising funds, general homelessness within the U.S. has improved by only 10% in contrast with 2007. It is even worse for sure subgroups, similar to particular person homelessness, which dropped by only 1% in the identical interval.
“Proper now, we’re trending within the improper course,” mentioned Anthony Love, interim govt director at the US Interagency Council on Homelessness. “The state of homelessness is fairly tenuous, and there are some small will increase which are going down throughout the board.”
For many years, the U.S. has relied on a “housing first” strategy to homelessness, the place everlasting housing is supplied for homeless individuals with out preconditions similar to sobriety or employment.
“With out the coach to information me into housing, I would not be the place I am at now,” mentioned Shannon McGhee, who moved into his supportive housing in 2020 after being unhoused for 4 years. “Having the ability to have my housing first, I do know that I am accountable for my atmosphere. Now, what occurs right here is all about what I create.”
Nonetheless, some critics of the housing first strategy say it hasn’t proven sufficient actual outcomes to deem it profitable.
“When the general public is instructed that this explicit coverage goes to finish homelessness, what they’re anticipating is that they’ll see fewer homeless individuals round,” mentioned Stephen Eide, a senior fellow on the Manhattan Institute. “I do not assume that we have seen that within the case of housing first.”
Watch the video to search out out extra in regards to the homelessness disaster within the U.S. and what the nation is doing to handle the problem.