The homeless population includes people from all walks of life:
The National Student Campaign Against Homelessness and Hunger reported:
In the U.S., more than 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year.
35% of the homeless population are families with children, which is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.
23% are U.S. military veterans.
25% are children under the age of 18 years.
30% have experienced domestic violence.
20-25% suffer from mental illness.
In urban communities, people experience homelessness for an average of eight months.
Christina Rosales, with Dallas News recently reported that "after years of gains in a decade-long effort to end chronic homelessness in Dallas County by 2015, the hard-to-serve population has increased by almost 40 percent from last year.
While that especially vulnerable subset is on the rise, the total number of homeless men, women and children counted this year decreased from 3,447 in 2012 to 2,972, according to the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. That suggests some gains in helping get the county’s needy off the streets.
But the annual count, conducted on one day in January, doesn’t reflect what many local advocates are seeing as they serve homeless families, unaccompanied children and veterans. They say some shelters are operating at capacity, even after expanding their facilities significantly over the last couple of years…
Since 2004, when the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance and city leaders committed to the goal, chronic homelessness has decreased 52 percent — even with this year’s increase factored in.
Meanwhile, The Bridge homeless assistance center has seen the number of self-reported chronically homeless increase in the last year.
There’s this dynamic that there’s more need than resources for people at risk of homelessness and those who are already experiencing homelessness,” said Jay Dunn, chief executive of The Bridge. “I think that even though our local governments are trying to combat that dynamic, it’s still an uphill battle.”
While strides are being made in creating solutions for the homeless situation in Dallas, all organizations are in need of help.
The following links are only a few of the many agencies working to combat the problem of homelessness and reaching out to those in need.
Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County
Dallas Life Foundatio
*Photo by PA; www.telegraph.co.uk