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10th January
written by Catherine An

During a meeting today, Nan mentioned, “homelessness isn’t divorced from all of this.”

And by “all of this,” Nan primarily meant the recession but she also meant the environmental factors that we all witness: rising unemployment, weakened job market, depressed wages, rising housing costs, and all those other economic and social factors that may or may not be a part of an overall recession.

And of course this is true. Not only are all these factors associated with homelessness (they, in fact, contribute to homelessness) but people experiencing homelessness – and those at-risk of homelessness – face these factors just like all people. In fact, the impact of these factors often weigh most heavily on our more vulnerable friends and neighbors who have fewer economic means and a much smaller safety net than other Americans.

As many of you know, the Alliance is preparing to launch a new report entitled, The State of Homelessness in America analyzing homelessness counts and trends from 2008 to 2009. Asides from our regular counts data, we’ll be including four economic indicators and four demographic drivers in the report, including:

  • unemployment
  • severe housing cost burden
  • real income
  • foreclosure
  • doubling up
  • aging out of foster care
  • lack of insurance
  • discharge from incarceration.

We found, as you might imagine, a number of interesting trends when analyzing these factors but one of the key morals of the story is just the point Nan made this morning: homelessness does not exist in a vacuum. It is far from the foreign, alien phenomenon that affects the indigent and incompetent.

It is a tragedy that exists as one part of our community – and one that we can end.

For more insights – and to see what exactly we found out about those factors – don’t’ miss the Alliance’s release of The State of Homelessness in America. For a sneak peek, check out our website.


  1. 11/01/2011

    We can’t end homelessness while remaining reliant on a consumer economy that exploits poor & their NATURAL right to land.

    The most impoverishing thing is to have one of your fundamental birthrights stolen, then sold to the highest bidder – while land is chained to the market we are all slaves. We must show viability of land rights + its responsibilities!

    Not only does property cause homelessness – its pursuit locks us in to an unsustainable dependance on consumerism!

    Property CAUSES homelessness. You can`t hope to solve homessness while advocating for property.

    If we are serious about homelessness we need to reject land as real estate as any part of the solution.

    `Housing under $200k!` say the ads … but won`t bidding create deeper homelessness problems for the future?

    Land ownership inflates rents by capitalising on COMMUNITY development – it is theft. Like air, land is the birthright of all, not the asset of some.

    No land rights? No choice but to serve someone else’s agenda, + don’t complain! – while land is chained to the market we are all slaves.

    We must show viability of land rights + responsibilities! see

  2. Ethel Barina

    I am homeless and experiencing the “vacuum” or suck of our leaders in Washington DC failing to respect me as a human being. We have as a Nation challenged the problem of “homelessness” in America. In the 1970′s those homeless and aging or disabled were relieved by the passage of the supplemental Security Income Act. And our leaders did recognize that homelessness is a “health crisis” in these individuals life and adjusted Social Security Administration Regulations to mend this personal crisis. this regulation remains on the “Books” and directs the Social Security Administration to Approve or Deny a claim made for Social Security Disability Insurance,SSDI, or Supplemental Security Income, SSI, within ninety days.

    In the 1970′s a major issue facing those aging or disabled was the inability of the social Security Adm, insurance carriers, employers, landlords, and banks. Schools and medical institutes to recognize those aging and/or disabled as full citizens. The passage of the Older Americans Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act dissuaded these attitudes, and equity was one.

    With these laws in black and white. With these laws preventing discrimination. Preventing undue harm I must as you a leader in the field of “homelessness” why? Why is it that I and 311,000 American workers vested in SSDI, or eligible for SSI are pressed to the personal crisis of homelessness, or shared housing, by a social Security Administration who has failed to provide us the respect we so crave. and why have you not taken this cause for us before the United States Senate for discovery and ultimately censorship. Certainly President Reagan, or President Johnson would have warned the social Security Administration to “OBEY” the law in making “claim findings”

    Yet todays white House seems divorced from the concrete. The Senate overwhelmed with coming to “solutions”. Why I ask have you as a organization not joined with me, an advocate for those disabled, and pressed the United States Senate to hear our cause that Social Security Adm denies us the benefit of FTC, of the law as written, denies us due process of law. And the servitude forced for our labor is punished by homelessness. four thousand disabled Americans will die this year waiting for the insurance they paid for.

    When will it stop? When we as Americans respect the fact no one asks to be disabled. It is incomprehensible to illegally deny 311,000 American workers SSDI and/or SSI to dissuade a “few?” americans or would present fraudulent claims. Impossible to believe that the Social Security Adm is “saving” money, defeating fraud, by causing undue suffering, homelessness, and even death.

    I am stood before the United States Senate asking for full discovery, disclosure and resolve of this violation of the human rights of any American disabled who is illegally denied their SSDI or SSI Benefits.

    I may live in the “glass house” that is homelessness, but the transparency of government belongs to me as well. Can the United States Senate, the pro tempore, the Inspector General, the Office of General Accounting, the IRS, or the
    United states Senates Judiciary Committee produce document to prove that the actions of the Social Security Administration in this matter are beyond a doubt necessary. Is it necessary to cause such great harm as death, or worse deny the hope of rest and healing? Can any of these entities produce document to prove why Social Security Administration fails to obey the Federal Trade Commission in this mater. Will you find that document that prevents the Inspector General Office the need to intervene to see the Social Security Administration law abiding, ethical, and compassionate? Or why the IRS, and the Secreet Service have not protected the rights of disabled as tax payers? For certainly I purchased SSDI and even if blind or deaf I know as a consumer I’ve been ripped off!

    Please look into this “glass house” I live in. Social Security Administration has made my bit of pavement in Nogales, AZ a “debtors prison”.

    Please join with “Project One: The Homelessness Initiative” of Nogales, Az and take the cause–prevent the hurt–prevent the deaths and suicides–prevent homelessness by calling for Social Security Administration to end it’s illegal purging of those disabled.

    Thank you

    Ethel Barina