Earlier this month, the National Alliance to End Homelessness released its report, “The State of Homelessness in America, 2016 .” The report contained some slightly good news: according to the Alliance, “The national rate of homelessness in 2015 fell to 17.7 homeless people per 10,000 people in the general population from 18.3 in 2014.”
But there was troubling news in the report as well. The Alliance found that “many poor people are at risk of homelessness,” including the working poor. And in some major U.S. cities, homelessness has been increasing: a report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in December found that homelessness had increased by 28% in Washington, DC and that homelessness was also on the rise in Seattle and Los Angeles. This comes at a time when the nation’s 1% are enjoying record prosperity.
Below are 10 reasons why homelessness remains a vexing problem in the U.S. and why, in 2016, it is easier to become homeless than it was 20 years ago, let alone half a century back.
1. Jimmy McMillan Is Right: the Rent Is Too Damn High