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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Recession and Homelessness

  • More families became homeless in recession, By Henri E. Cauvin, January 13, 2011, Washington Post: “During the throes of the recession, the number of homeless people in the United States increased, and the number of homeless families increased at an even greater rate, according to a report released Wednesday. The findings by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, although not surprising, confirm the harsh toll that the recession – which began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 – took on families. Historically, people struggling with mental illness, substance abuse or other chronic problems have been the focus of government homelessness efforts, and until recently the number of such homeless people had been declining. But the recession, which has led to rising unemployment and declining social services, has slowed progress among the chronically homeless and increased numbers of the newly homeless, among them many families, according to the alliance’s report…”
  • Foreclosures, homelessness surge in Alabama, By Jeremy Gray, January 13, 2011, Birmingham News: “The number of foreclosed homes across Alabama doubled between 2008 and 2009, even as the state’s total homeless population grew 13 percent, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. The alliance used data from federal agencies to monitor the change in the homeless population, with 30 other states and Washington, D.C., reporting increases. There were an estimated 6,080 homeless people in Alabama as of 2009, according to the report. The nation’s total homeless population grew 3 percent in that time to a total of 656,129. Also, between 2008 and 2009, the number of homeless families in Alabama grew 7 percent, while the number of unsheltered homeless — those who live on the street or in cars or abandoned homes — grew 40 percent…”
  • Homelessness on the rise, By Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, January 13, 2011, San Antonio Express-News: “The homeless population across the country increased by about 20,000 people, or 3 percent, at the height of the recession between 2008 and 2009, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. A new report from the alliance shows the increases were across the board – families, individuals, the unsheltered and the chronically homeless. In San Antonio, the most recent survey found 3,580 people lived in shelters or on the streets in 2010, compared with 3,303 in 2009…”