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  • Study: 744,000 homeless people in U.S.

    The article in the URl does am excellent job of the issues around homelessness in the US. I would love to hear about the board's thoughts about the causes, epistemology and possible solutions to this rampant problem.
    Disclaimer: I own a company that provides low cost rapidly deployable housing and have an out of status soon to be ex-wife who has effectively taken residence in a battered women's shelter.

    http://www.solutionsforamerica.org/t...elessness.html

  • #2
    The article in the URl does am excellent job of the issues around homelessness in the US. I would love to hear about the board's thoughts about the causes, epistemology and possible solutions to this rampant problem.
    Disclaimer: I own a company that provides low cost rapidly deployable housing and have an out of status soon to be ex-wife who has effectively taken residence in a battered women's shelter.

    http://www.solutionsforamerica.org/t...elessness.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Would like to read the article but I
      I cannot find the article to read

      Comment


      • #4
        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 4now:
        Would like to read the article but I
        I cannot find the article to read </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
        Link from MSNBC
        "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

        Comment


        • #5
          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by davdah:
          Most of the homeless people I've seen are obvious drug users or alcoholics. There are others who are probably there due to job loss or jsut bad luck. A lot of it has to do with people living beyond their means and not saving for a rainy day. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

          Thanks hudson

          I dont think we can assume as such without doing an ACCURATE study. A lot of what you have stated is the stereotype that has been fed to the public.

          the point is .. the problem is growing. and what exactly can we do about it.


          I think that a study should be done to find out why the individual is homeless and have them placed into a category.

          From what I have seen, the homeless situation has been treated as one big problem with 1 or 2 solutions. I think this is why the solutions have not been sucessful . We have been treating the symptoms, and not the cause. Just becuase 3 have a broken leg and 20 more people are in pain and moaning also, It doesnt mean that all need a cast as the fix to make them better.

          I think that there are varying reasons for homelessness.

          alcohol related
          drug related
          mental illness
          job loss
          house loss
          foreclosure
          banckruptcy
          nervous breakdown
          battered people
          Working poor who live in cars

          All of these have very different beginnings with the same end result. so the problems have to be handled on a group basis first , and then individual. there will be different solutions for each catergorized group.

          Building more shelters and soup kitchens is not the solution. It has not worked so far.

          Personally, i believe this problem should be addressed and solved before any effort or time is given to trying to give illegal immigration any amnesty.

          Amnesty should be given to Lpr and USa citizen first to regroup. this is where the efforts and emphasis should be placed.

          Then after fixing this problem.. Only then should they look at the illegal situation.

          Comment


          • #6
            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">From what I have seen, the homeless situation has been treated as one big problem with 1 or 2 solutions. I think this is why the solutions have not been sucessful . We have been treating the symptoms, and not the cause. Just becuase 3 have a broken leg and 20 more people are in pain and moaning also, It doesnt mean that all need a cast as the fix to make them better.

            I think that there are varying reasons for homelessness.

            alcohol related
            drug related
            mental illness
            job loss
            house loss
            foreclosure
            banckruptcy
            nervous breakdown
            battered people
            Working poor who live in cars </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

            I think the major cause of homelessness in America is do to isolation. Family units are not what they were in generations before ours. There was a kindred spirit in our forefathers that has been lost in us. We have become a society where power and fortune are more important than consideration for mankind. Families are growing further apart, and there is a waning of responsibility for family.

            While I believe the majority of homeless people are mentally ill or substance dependent, I still question and challenge their family members why they didn't provide more support and better solutions. Once homeless, I believe they acclimate to that lifestyle (as we do to ours) and it becomes their comfort zone.

            Comment


            • #7
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">While I believe the majority of homeless people are mentally ill or substance dependent, I still question and challenge their family members why they didn't provide more support and better solutions. Once homeless, I believe they acclimate to that lifestyle (as we do to ours) and it becomes their comfort zone. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

              Hi Proud
              Do you have those statistics? I havent seen the studies that support that majority are mental illness or drug abused.

              And what if many of these do not have family? Many do not have family Proud. And I doubt very much that the majority ever become comfortable with the homeless lifestyle... It is just that there is no other option for them.

              What is your suggestion for solution to take them into or back into the mainstream of living?

              Comment


              • #8
                There are a couple of issues here: the first is homelessness and the second is affordable housing. I have always wondered why I observed the following wrt education here in the US vs. what I had in India:

                Up to K12, the Indian system blows away the US one. I was doing differential calculus in the fifth grade and quantum mechanics in the 10th. I used to bring back books that my friends whose kids stayed behind were using and they were at least 2-3 grades higher than what kids here were learning.
                The undergrad system here, at least in terms of Physics, are a quantum level (if you pardon the pun) behind; I was a TA for the Physics program at Northwestern U and I was amazed..
                The Grad programs here completely blow away the best in the world; even though the number of coursed required here are half that in say for example India it was the first time in my life that I was actually stretched,

                High school tuition back when I went to school in India was $10/semester, undergrad $50. Interestingly enough, for a secular country and a majority hindu country, Jesuits had a lock on high school education and the vast majority of the teachers were female (except the cane wielding Jesuits) and housing were not an issue for them

                In California, however:

                http://www.rebuildca.org/shortage.html

                California has a housing shortage. Since the late 1980s, the number of new homes and apartments constructed has been far below what is needed to keep pace with the state's job and population growth.
                Consider these facts from the California Building Industry Association:
                "¢ The Department of Housing and Community Development estimates that California must build an excess of 200,000 homes each year through the year 2020 in order to accommodate the population growth and remain "reasonably affordable."
                "¢ The California Building Industry Association estimates the state's housing deficit total to be nearing 1 million homes and apartments in 2003.
                "¢ The state Department of Finance estimates that a healthy jobs/housing balance is one new home built for every 1.5 jobs created. California is falling far short of that ratio: Within the last decade, we have built one new home for every 4.0 jobs created.
                "¢ In San Mateo County the ratio of new jobs to new housing units is 13.3 to one.
                "¢ Recent forecasts from the Department of Housing and Community development predict a steady housing deficit in the Bay Area of more than 12,000 units per year for the next decade. In Los Angeles County the annual housing deficit will be 28,000 units.
                "¢ It is estimated that California's population will reach 58 million by 2040 - that means that 24 million more Californians will need a place to call home.
                The result of this crunch is some of the highest home prices in the world. Because of the shortage, working people are locked out of housing market:
                "¢ California has 9 of the nation's 10 least affordable housing markets.
                "¢ Half of all renters pay more than 30 percent of their income toward housing, and nearly 25 percent pay more than 50 percent.
                "¢ California's median home price was $324,000 in 2002.
                "¢ A family earning the state's median income ($43,800) would need to double its income in order to afford the state's median-priced home.
                "¢ Despite a strong desire by Californian's to own a home, homeownership is suffering. The state's recent homeownership rate (58%) is far behind the national average (67.8%).
                "¢ And for minorities, the homeownership rate is even worse at just 44.6%.
                "¢ California's homeownership rate is the 4th lowest in the nation.
                "¢ More than 1.3 million renter households would need to buy homes in order for California's homeownership rate to match the national average.
                "¢ Only 27% of households in California can afford the median-priced home in their area.
                "¢ A childcare worker in Downtown Los Angeles needs to quadruple his or her income to afford the median-priced home.
                "¢ In order to purchase the median-priced home in San Francisco, an elementary school teacher must earn an additional $85,601 each year.
                "¢ A firefighter in Monterey needs to earn an additional $82,573 annually to be able to purchase the median-priced home in that area.
                And if you think that's bad, just wait. By 2025, an estimated 18 million more people will live in California, squeezing the housing markets even tighter if trends continue.
                How did we get in this jam?
                A number of factors -- population and job growth, land prices, restrictive zoning, homebuilder liability, development fees, water supply lawsuits, anti-housing ballot box initiatives, NIMBYism and misguided no-growth activism among others -- have conspired to keep the housing industry from meeting the state's needs and satisfying consumer demand.
                Survey after survey has shown strong preferences for suburban living, and particularly strong preferences for detached, single-family homes in clean, safe, quiet neighborhoods. American consumers, faced with a variety of choices, are choosing suburban lifestyles.
                As Peter Gordon and Harry Richardson, well-known professors of planning and economics at the University of Southern California, wrote in the Winter 1997 Journal of the American Planning Association, "America is not running out of open space, nor in any danger of having cities encroach upon preserves of prime agricultural land. Low density development is the overwhelming choice for residential living."
                Home construction has a number of economic benefits:
                "¢ The construction of 1,000 single-family homes generates 2,448 full-time jobs in construction and construction-related industries: $75 million in wages and $37 million in combined federal, state and local tax revenues.
                "¢ The construction of 1,000 multi-family units generates 1,030 full-time jobs in construction and construction-related industries: $32 million in wages and $15.8 million in combined federal, state and local tax revenue and fees.
                "¢ Nationally, housing generates more than 22 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and accounts for 32 to 40 cents of every dollar spent.
                "¢ According to the Construction Industry Research Board, in 2000 - even as housing production was far below demand - homebuilding in California generated $28 billion in direct economic benefits and $69 billion in related or induced economic activity.
                "¢ In 2000, California's homebuilding industry created more than 330,000 jobs directly and 830,000 in additional related jobs.
                "¢ According to the Real Estate and Land Use Institute at California State University, Sacramento, every $1 spent on residential construction produces $2.59 in economic output.
                Sources:
                California Building Industry Association, state Dept. of Finance, California Association of Realtors
                Links:
                Home Builders Association of Northern California
                www.hbanc.org
                California Building Industry Association
                www.cbia.org
                National Association of Home Builders
                www.nahb.com
                Bay Area Council public policy and business leadership organization
                www.bayareacouncil.org
                California Association of Realtors
                www.car.org

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6pphVs8bF0

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Klinus,

                  Those were interesting points.
                  Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.

                  --John Wesley

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 4now:
                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">While I believe the majority of homeless people are mentally ill or substance dependent, I still question and challenge their family members why they didn't provide more support and better solutions. Once homeless, I believe they acclimate to that lifestyle (as we do to ours) and it becomes their comfort zone. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                    Hi Proud
                    Do you have those statistics? I havent seen the studies that support that majority are mental illness or drug abused.

                    And what if many of these do not have family? Many do not have family Proud. And I doubt very much that the majority ever become comfortable with the homeless lifestyle... It is just that there is no other option for them.

                    What is your suggestion for solution to take them into or back into the mainstream of living? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                    4Now, I agree that we need to separate the categories of homelessness. There are, indeed, people who are homeless and do not want want to change their status. There are a magnitude of homeless people living on the grates of our Nations Capital. I read many stories about how these folks refuse help even on the bitter, coldest nights. They refuse help and will not seek shelter. You can't help people who don't want to help themselves.

                    As far as the isolation issue, I understand there are people who have little to no family. But, I believe that to be a very small percentage. Everyone has someone, if not family, then work associates and friends. We do not do enough as a society to help our fellow men. It did not used to be like this. People use to pool together for the common good of all and this is not how we live today. We are too quick to say "that's not my problem". We can't rely on our government to fix all of our nations woes. We need to pull together and take accountability to help others who are in need.

                    I don't have the answer to homelessness, but I do think all of us who are able should take more than 2 steps forward to try to help others who are less fortunate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by davdah:
                      Most of the homeless people I've seen are obvious drug users or alcoholics. There are others who are probably there due to job loss or jsut bad luck. A lot of it has to do with people living beyond their means and not saving for a rainy day. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                      Much as I hate to go against a man who has faithfully and consistently defended me against the vultures and buzzards, the reality is that many of the homeless are veterans:

                      http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm

                      23% of homeless population are veterans
                      33% of male homeless population are veterans

                      And a **** shame it is too!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 4now:
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by davdah:
                        Most of the homeless people I've seen are obvious drug users or alcoholics. There are others who are probably there due to job loss or jsut bad luck. A lot of it has to do with people living beyond their means and not saving for a rainy day. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                        Thanks hudson

                        I dont think we can assume as such without doing an ACCURATE study. A lot of what you have stated is the stereotype that has been fed to the public.

                        the point is .. the problem is growing. and what exactly can we do about it.


                        I think that a study should be done to find out why the individual is homeless and have them placed into a category.

                        From what I have seen, the homeless situation has been treated as one big problem with 1 or 2 solutions. I think this is why the solutions have not been sucessful . We have been treating the symptoms, and not the cause. Just becuase 3 have a broken leg and 20 more people are in pain and moaning also, It doesnt mean that all need a cast as the fix to make them better.

                        I think that there are varying reasons for homelessness.

                        alcohol related
                        drug related
                        mental illness
                        job loss
                        house loss
                        foreclosure
                        banckruptcy
                        nervous breakdown
                        battered people
                        Working poor who live in cars

                        All of these have very different beginnings with the same end result. so the problems have to be handled on a group basis first , and then individual. there will be different solutions for each catergorized group.

                        Building more shelters and soup kitchens is not the solution. It has not worked so far.

                        Personally, i believe this problem should be addressed and solved before any effort or time is given to trying to give illegal immigration any amnesty.

                        Amnesty should be given to Lpr and USa citizen first to regroup. this is where the efforts and emphasis should be placed.

                        Then after fixing this problem.. Only then should they look at the illegal situation. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
                        Hi 4now:

                        From what I have experienced the biggest problems are apathy and NIMBY.
                        I can roll out a very decent 1BR for $30K in 3 days, providing that there is a decent foundation in place. For another $5K I can coat it with nanotechnology based solar panels that will make it energy neutral. Even though my domes are HUD approved, I still have to so through the zoning process and the planning commissions of every single town and locality in the country, which takes so much more bandwidth (viz. people) – it took 2 people and 3 weeks to get approval to do a 100,000 affordable homes for South Africa.

                        Here's a sad fact that I have learnt – zoning goes out the window when there is a natural disaster.

                        I suspect that sufficient pressure from the infrastructure providers – the teachers, the firemen, the cops etc. will force us out of the paradigm that there are other solutions than a wood high carbon footprint suburbian house which could look as good as the homes of the future (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdhVHYRHbe0)

                        Shameless plug ....

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7q1H3VKdp0

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Shameless plug indeed


                          ok... your homes. would they be perceived as temp homes or permanent homes for homeless?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 4now:
                            Shameless plug indeed


                            ok... your homes. would they be perceived as temp homes or permanent homes for homeless? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                            We have a guarantee of 50 years; with panels and other options. We are using these as our offices and when out town zoning coordinator recovers from his heart attack, he will look at my proposal to tear down my boring wooden rectangle and replace it with one of my domes....

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il-WqilLCPM

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Klinus...

                              do you think your housing could help matters in New orleans? Surely some program could fund. This problem is going to keep ballooning and the ozark mountains are going to become front and center.



                              New Orleans' Homeless Rate Swells

                              By Rick Jervis,USA Today
                              Posted: 2008-03-17 10:18:01

                              (March 17) -- The homeless population of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina has reached unprecedented levels for a U.S. city: one in 25 residents.

                              An estimated 12,000 homeless accounts for 4% of New Orleans' estimated population of 302,000, according to the homeless advocacy group UNITY of Greater New Orleans. The number is nearly double the pre-Katrina homeless count, the group says.





                              Hundreds of homeless people sleep beneath Interstate 10 in New Orleans each night. An <span class="ev_code_BLUE">estimated 12,000 people in the city are homeless, nearly double the count from before Hurricane Katrina struck.</span>

                              The New Orleans' rate is more than four times that of most U.S. cities, which have homeless populations of under 1%, said Michael Stoops, executive director of the Washington-based National Coalition for the Homeless. The cities with homeless rates closest to that of New Orleans are Atlanta (1.4%) and Washington (0.95%), he said.

                              A USA TODAY 2005 survey of 460 localities showed one in 400 Americans on average were homeless.

                              New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin appealed to federal lawmakers this past week to provide funds and housing vouchers to help the city's homeless problem.

                              The percentage of New Orleans' homeless is one of the highest recorded since U.S. housing officials began tracking homelessness in the mid-1980s, said Dennis Culhane, a University of Pennsylvania professor who has studied homeless trends for more than 20 years.

                              "In a modern urban U.S. city, we've never seen it," he said of New Orleans' homeless rate.

                              Many of the homeless are Katrina evacuees who returned to unaffordable rents or who slipped through the cracks of the federal system designed to provide temporary housing after the storm, said Mike Miller, UNITY's director of supportive housing placement.

                              There are also out-of-state workers who came for the post-Katrina rebuilding boom but lost their jobs, and mentally ill residents in need of services and medication, he said. Many of the city's outreach homeless centers and public mental health services have been closed since Katrina.

                              Nagin has pledged to move the homeless from encampments around the city to more permanent shelters. Last year, the city and humanitarian groups found shelter for nearly all of the 250 people living in an encampment across from City Hall.

                              <span class="ev_code_BLUE">Nagin has suggested reinstating a city ordinance that would make it illegal to sleep in public places. Homeless advocates say the law would just crowd the jails</span>.

                              "<span class="ev_code_RED">It just shows a real disconnect" between the city and the problem,</span> said James Perry, head of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. "The answer is not going to be jails."

                              Comment

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