Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Homeless in America - Washington's Forgotten Ones

A recent report from Kaiser Health News shows us the real state of life in America for thousands of people who have not benefitted from the selective economic recovery since the Great Recession.

According to KHN, homeless deaths in Los Angeles County have grown substantially over the past five years as shown on this graphic:

The 918 homeless men and women who died in 2018 is up 10.1 percent on a year-over-year basis and has grown by 75.9 percent from 2014.  As you can see on the graph, four out of five homeless deaths are men, however, the number of women dying has risen by 133.3 percent over the five year period compared to only 65.8 percent for men.

Here is a graphic showing the causes of death of LA County's homeless:

The causes of death reflect the risks of living on the street with 48.6 percent of the 3,612 deaths over the past five years being attributed to "accidents" which includes drug and alcohol overdoses, traffic accidents and drowning.  Homeless residents in LA County also die from the same causes as the rest of the population; cancer, heart and lung disease, diabetes and infections claim lives in both the homeless and the general population, however, deaths from these common causes tend to occur at a younger age among the homeless.  In fact, the average age of death for homeless people in LA county  is 48 years for women and 51 years for men compared the general population where women have a life expectancy of 83 years and men have a life expectancy of 79, the highest in the United States.

Here is a graphic showing the age distribution of homeless deaths in LA County:

As you can see, the number of homeless people under the age of 45 has more than doubled over the past five years.

Let's look at America's homeless problem.  According to data from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a total of 552,830 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2018.  Of these, 67 percent are individuals and 33 percent are families with children.  Chronically homeless people make up 18 percent of the total and young Americans under the age of 25 make up 7 percent of America's homeless population.

Here is a graphic showing the total number of people experiencing homelessness in 2018 by type:

Here is a graphic showing the race and ethnicity of America's homeless in 2018:

Here are the homeless counts for the top ten states in 2018:

California - 129,972
New York - 91,897
Florida - 31,030
Texas - 25,310
Washington - 22,304
Massachusetts - 20,068
Oregon - 14,476
Pennsylvania - 13,512
Colorado - 10,857
Illinois - 10,643

While the information from the Los Angeles County that I provided at the beginning of this posting looks grim, in fact, LA County has "only" 49,955 homeless compared to 78,676 in New York City.

Let's close with this video from San Jose showing its homeless encampments:

...and this video showing a bicyclist's view of a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail in Anaheim California:

Could you imagine raising a family in that environment?  According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, this is what happened to the number of homeless encampments over the decade between 2007 and 2017:

That's an increase in homeless encampments of 1,342 percent over the decade.

While Congress has itself all consumed by its Russophobic, anti-Trump, election meddling narrative, hundreds of thousands of homeless Americans are suffering.  Washington has hundreds of billions of dollars to spend on regime change around the world through the flexing of its military might but has forgotten that part of its mandate is to help the neediest of Americans. If the situation is this bad during a period of relatively strong economic growth and record low unemployment, just think of how bad the situation will become during the next recession.  This is definitely not the kind of "democracy" that the rest of the world wants.

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