HOMELESSNESS 101

The three most cited reasons for family homelessness are: 1) Lack of affordable housing, 2) unemployment, and 3) poverty. People experiencing homeless typically do not have a reliable source of transportation, or disposable income for travel expenses. There are approximately 10,000 homeless in greater Atlanta.

41% are in emergency shelter. 28% are in transitional housing. 31% are on the streets.

Myths:

  • Homeless people need to “just get a job”.
  • Homeless people are lazy.
  • Homelessness could never happen to me.
  • Homelessness is always related to mental illness.
  • Most homeless people are addicted to drugs and alcohol
  • Homeless people live on the streets.

 

Facts:

  • There is no county in the country where the federal minimum wage is enough to afford a Fair Market Rent, one-bedroom apartment.
  • A 2013 US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) study found that 55 percent of homeless had worked during the previous year.
  • Homeless families are often hidden from our view—they are living in shelters, cars, campgrounds, or doubled up in overcrowded apartments.
  • About one in four sheltered homeless people suffered from a severe mental illness in 2010, according to the SAMHSA.
  • Roughly one-third of sheltered homeless adults had chronic substance use issues in 2010, according to the SAMHSA.
  • About 69 percent of homeless Americans lived in shelters in 2014, according to HUD’s survey.