Florida Among States With Highest Risk For Homelessness

 In the March issue of the Florida peer networks newsletter I found this little article that I wanted to share with every one.

Florida Among States With Highest Risk For Homelessness

A majority— 31 of 50 states and the District of Columbia— has had increases in their homeless counts. The largest increase was in Louisiana, where the homeless population doubled, according to the recently published report, Homelessness in America.

The report investigates the changes in homelessness across the country. Three states—Florida, California and Nevada —“have been disproportionately impacted by the recent housing crisis,” the report said. The three states have multiple risk factors. These are high rates of homelessness and high levels of unemployment, foreclosure, housing cost burden, lack of insurance, and doubling up. Florida, California and Nevada share another distinction: Over 80 percent of households below the federal poverty line in Florida, Nevada, and California spend more than 50 percent of income on rent.

The data show that 28 of 50 states had increases in prisoner releases from 2007 to 2008, with Florida’s increasing by 30 percent. In the course of a year, the estimated odds of experiencing homelessness for a released prisoner are 1 in 11.

Nationwide, researchers found the largest percentage of increase was in the number of family households, which increased by over four percent or 3,000 households. “While most people experiencing homelessness are sheltered, nearly 4 in 10 were living on the street, in a car, or in another place not intended for human habitation,” said the research report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness and Homelessness Research Institute. “These findings project a disquieting picture of what depressed wages, stagnant unemployment, unrelenting housing cost burden, and the lagging pace of the economic recovery could bring about: increases in homelessness and heightened risk of homelessness for more and more Americans.” The report suggested various strategies states could adopt for reducing homelessness.

To download a copy of the report, go to http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/ article/detail/3668

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