Understanding poverty and homelessness is no simple task. Most people are unaware of the complexities of contributing factors. Basic facts can go a long way to helping the community understand the circumstances and the needs of people living in poverty and homelessness.
Almost half of homeless people work.
That according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. They note the impact of unemployment and underemployment as a factor. It is both difficult for someone displaced to get a job, and when they do, they are often paid much less than previously.
The availability of low-cost housing is a contributing factor according to the Center for American Progress.
When examining the availability of low-cost housing over time, the extent to which affordable housing is a barrier today becomes clear. According to the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, there were 300,000 more low-cost rental units than low-income renter households in 1970—6.5 million units for 6.2 million households. By 1985, there was an affordable housing shortfall of 3.3 million units. By 2011, the affordable housing shortage reached 5.3 million units.