The good news is that issues like veteran homelessness, affordable housing and other issues got some major press this week. The bad news is, well, the news is bad.
Earlier this week, Washington Post reporter Dina ElBoghdady covered the Harvard University study that we blogged about on Wednesday. The study found that in 2009, nearly half of all renters were moderately cost burdened and over a quarter were severely housing cost burdened (remember how we talked about that in The State of Homelessness?). The report highlights the housing “affordability crisis” – meaning that the supply of affordable housing is not keeping pace with demand.
Dennis Cauchon of USA Today reported that more Americans than ever are relying on some sort of government aid. He writes, “A record 18.3% of the nation’s total personal income was a payment from the government for Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment benefits and other programs in 2010.” While it’s hardly a surprise that more and more Americans are still struggling to get back on their financial feet, the report sheds much needed light on the extent of the suffering and works to – we hope! – dispel some of the stereotypes about people receiving financial assistance.
And just today, syndicated New York Times columnist David Brooks writes about how he spent some time at of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Brooks had some concerns about the “gap between the neatness of [homelessness] data on a bar graph and the messy reality of the street,” but he concludes that we’re doing important work to end veteran homelessness.
As people attuned to poverty and homelessness, it’s hardly a surprise that the need out there is great and the task, quite daunting – as the major stories these week clearly show.
Luckily, you can make a difference. We’re asking everyone to become an advocate and help end homelessness! Let us know you’re interested in helping out using this form and keep an eye on our blog to learn about our campaigns (like our new McKinney-Vento campaign!). We can end homelessness together; you can make the difference.