What do You Already Know?__
--Is homeless a
big problem in our country? In the world?
--How many people are homeless?-
--What can be done to stop homelessness?
There are approximately 500,000 to 600,000 homeless
people (Burt and Cohen, 1989) in the United States. This number is
updated to allow a 5% increase a year resulting in an estimate of
over 700,000 and up to two million people who experience
homelessness during one year.
The National Coalition for the Homeless estimate
760,000 homeless people are on the streets, fifty percent more than
were counted in 1988 (National Law Center of Homelessness and
There are over 40,000 homeless people in New York
City. More than 23,000 New Yorkers sleep in homeless shelters each
night (Andrew Hsiar, "The Disappeared," Village Voice,
December 8, 1998). In addition, in 19 major cities, the homeless
outnumber the number of shelter beds (John Bacon, "Aggressive
Beggars Now a No-No in New York City," USA Today,
September 27, 1996).
Despite the difficulty determining the incidence of
homelessness, the U. S. Conference of Mayors Report
(December, 1998) states that children account for 25% of the
homeless population; families with children account for 38% of the
homeless population; single adult men account for 45%. Out of this
group, 22% are veterans.