Monday, April 26, 2010

On the Streets of Houston

Just Hungry

Houston Statistics
• 10,000 homeless individuals are on the streets of Houston on any given night
• more than 3,000 are considered chronically homeless.
• 25% of these homeless individuals are youth
• more than 50% of these individuals have been diagnosed with mental illness
• more than 50% have complicated legal issues that prevent them from accessing services and employment
• 50% report having a substance abuse problem

Common causes of homelessness are:
• Poverty (impacted by declining work opportunities, decreased public assistance, financial crisis, mounting debt)
• Lack of affordable housing (impacted by increasing rents, decreasing SRO housing and excessive waiting lists for public housing, eviction, etc.)
• Lack of affordable health care -Mental illness and disability
• Substance abuse issues -Prison release and reentry into society
• Natural disaster
• Foster care background
• Family crisis (e.g.: death, relationship breakdown, etc.)

A national study on homelessness found that most cities estimate that the number of homeless individuals greatly exceeds the number of emergency shelter and transitional housing available.

Reference: Cathedral Health & Outreach Ministries

Lunch on The Side of the Road

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