American homeless: reliable statistics on the number of homeless people do not have
Approximately 3.5 million people (about one hundredth citizen of the country) in the U.S. have the experience of living on the street for a long period, of which 1.35 million — children.
For example, in New York City shelters each night sleeps more than 37 thousand homeless people, of which 16 thousand — children. These conclusions were reached by Research Institute of Urban Urban Institute in 2000. However, these data may be underestimated.
There is still no reliable statistics on the number of homeless people in the United States. There are several methodological attempts to measure the extent of the problem. In one approach, counted all the people who are on a given day or week are without a roof over their heads.
Another method has to take into account the number of homeless people, checking their numbers over a period of time. The first method gives "instant picture" of homelessness, it is marginally homeless differentiates the categories "temporarily-homeless" — "chronically homeless." Out of sight of such research falls category of homeless people have become established as a result of an unexpected job loss, domestic violence, lack of affordable housing: the man lost his home — was on the street, the other — found a job — he rented an apartment. In the momentary portrait clearly overestimated the proportion of "chronically homeless."
The lack of affordable housing and the lack of low-income housing assistance programs — the most significant causes of the growth of the homeless people in the United States. Another one of the main reasons that a person is in a shelter or on the street is domestic violence. According to the Ford Foundation about 50% of all homeless women and children were victims of beatings or other forms of violence in his own family. Another study, in which participants in the survey were 777 homeless parents (the majority of them — the mother) living in 10 U.S. cities found that 22% of respondents left their homes because of domestic violence.
Under U.S. law, a person is considered homeless if he does not have is in a fit state of constant and adequate sleep. The category does not include the homeless inmates of prisons and police detention people. Such a person has the right to stay in the public or private shelter.
However, according to a study in 2001, conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors US Conference of Mayors in 27 major cities, the total number of people attending shelters, 37% were not receiving aid because shelters were full. And the number of "refuseniks", compared with the previous year, increased by 11% and the number of beds in shelters has changed slightly. These indicators on the situation of homeless families is even more sad — the administration has refused to spend the night shelters 52% of the number of families seeking help. Compared with 2001, this figure had risen to 22%. According to experts, the number of homeless people is much higher than the number of places in shelters. Moreover, shelters for the homeless — it is predominantly urban phenomenon. Outside the big cities there are almost no shelters, homeless people and although there are many.
This, in particular, is one of the reasons that homeless people are actually forced to seek temporary refuge with relatives and friends, constantly changing place of residence. This category of people for the most part is not considered. According to the Ministry of Education of the United States Department of Education, in 2000, only 35% of homeless children and young people living in shelters. 34% — alternately lived with family or friends, and 23% stayed in cheap hotels. Very few of these people considered themselves homeless and agreed to use the services or shelters for help.
The nationwide survey, which involved people who had experience bomzhevaniya, found that the most common habitat for virtually homeless were cars (59.2%) and makeshift: boxes, tents, caves, boxcars (24.6%). Thus, the homeless can be a lot more notes than the official statistics.
Every night, all over the country more than a million children for a variety of reasons sleep on the streets or in shelters. According to a study in 2001 conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 27 major cities, a quarter of the urban homeless people — children under the age of 18 years. According to the research of the Institute of Urban Studies, in the whole country, given the urban and rural areas, children make up 39% of the homeless. However, most are still adults aged 31 to 50 years — 51% of the total. In line with other studies (Institute of Medicine) share of homeless older ranges from 2.5% to 19.4%. More likely to be homeless single men (40% of total), single women make up 14%.
In 1990 the number of homeless families with children has increased significantly — that the fastest growing category of homeless. Homeless families make up 38% of the total number of homeless people of America (the data of social organization Homes For The Homeless). Since this process is accompanied by a decrease in the number of affordable low-cost housing, extended the period during which the families are forced to remain in the shelter until they find a permanent home. For example, in the mid-1990s in New York, the average family stayed at the shelter for five months, today this term has grown to a year.
As of 2001, half of the homeless — black Americans, 35% — white, 12% Hispanics, 2% — the Indians and 1% — came from Asia. Ethnic homeless person varies depending on the type of terrain, in rural areas dominated by whites, Indians and migrant workers (especially Hispanics). Blacks are homeless mainly live in large cities.
About 40% of homeless men previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces. This is symptomatic of the fact, a total of 34% of the adult male population served in the military. And another study found that 11% of the urban homeless — veterans, participants of wars and armed conflicts. A significant portion of homeless Americans — about 22% — people with severe mental disorders.
Studies conducted during the 1980s, showed very high (over 50%) levels of various forms of addiction — drugs, alcohol — among the homeless, particularly among single men. However, more recent studies have not given these results, although the level of such disorders was high (about 34%). In large cities, 20% of the homeless were working intermittently.