Dear next president,
Are you aware of the incredibly large amount of homeless people on the streets of our country? I think it’s becoming a big problem. There are many homeless people in America and more money needs to be spent to help them find a home or a shelter to live in. An article titled “A Homeless Epidemic in New York? Thousands Hit the Cold Streets to Find Out” by Ford Fessenden from the New York Times states that, “After peaking at 60,939 at the end of 2014, the homeless population ebbs for a few months. But last August, it again started to rise.” Almost 61,000 homeless people were estimated to be living just in New York City alone. A study found on the Wikipedia page about homelessness in the United States reports: “A 2000 study estimated the number of such people (homeless people) to be between 2.3 million and 3.5 million.” That’s a big problem if you ask me.
So what is being done to prevent this epidemic of homelessness? I’m happy to tell you that there has been success in fighting this problem. If we take a look at an NPR article called “Utah Reduced Chronic Homelessness By 91 Percent; Here's How” by Kelly McEvers we will find that Utah has significantly decreased their number of homeless people. The article reads: “A decade ago, Utah set itself an ambitious goal: end chronic homelessness. As of 2015, the state can just about declare victory: The population of chronically homeless people has dropped by 91%.” But how did Utah accomplish such a feat? A program called Housing First was put into effect which allows those in need of a home to live in an apartment for either 30% of their income or $50 a month, whichever is greater. It was found out and stated in the article that it costs more money to deal with homeless people’s emergency needs and jail time than it does to simply give them a home. So if you ask me the right choice is obvious.
Speaking of the costs, how much is being spent on taking care of the homeless? I’m glad to say that the amounts are increasing. According to an article from the Huffington Post titled “U.S. Spending Historic Amount Fighting Homelessness, And It’s Working: Report” by Robbie Couch, in 2015, around $4.5 billion dollars had been spent trying to aid the homeless. Some uplifting facts that were also found in the article include a 33% drop in homeless veterans and a 10% drop in the number of chronically homeless people. But it still isn’t enough. There are still millions of homeless people on the streets and in shelters all across the United States.
So in conclusion, next president, homelessness is a big problem in America, and although many attempts to end it have been made, and many have succeeded, it still isn’t enough to stop this problem. If more money was spent on a nationwide interpretation of the Housing First plan then I think that the number of homeless people would drop significantly. With your power I think that could happen. That would really be something, wouldn’t it?
Saint Paul, MN