A blog about living outside, first in my car, then in tents.
Home » POLITICS » There’s Homeless and There’s Homeless, Part III

There’s Homeless and There’s Homeless, Part III

homeless stereotype

While many people without homes fit the stereotype of the unkempt man on the street, many do not.
photo by Dmitry Belopolsky.

Until I lost my house, I had thought of homeless people mostly as folks living on the streets, in a shelter, or moving from one couch to another. People living in cars, yes, them too, but I wasn’t really aware of how frequently that happens.

Federal agencies each have their own definition of “homeless.” Health centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) define it a little more broadly than the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The agencies use these definitions in determining who is eligible for services, in addition to their other eligibility requirements. Details here.

“According to a 2002 national study by the Urban Institute, about 45 percent of homeless adults had worked in the past 30 days — only 14 percentage points lower than the employment rate for the general population last month. The number of working homeless would probably be even higher if “off the books” work was included.” — from “Five Myths About America’s Homeless” by Dennis Culhane in the July 11, 2010 New York Times.

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