- According to the GR Press, Nearly half of those seeking help are homeless for the first time, records show. And most work at steady jobs — often at two or three.
- Last year’s count was up nearly 11 percent from the year before, including a startling 50 percent rise in the lakeshore counties, according to the Michigan State Homeless Management Information System, a program aimed at better assessing how many are without a residence.
In a state ranked fifth last year in homelessness, affecting 86,000 people, a coming wave of expiring unemployment benefits could compound that amount.
- Studies show it costs about $1,000 per person per month to keep people in temporary shelters. Subsudizing rent for a few months — or even helping with a single rent or mortgage payment— can be enough to turn the tide.
Really when it comes to these new homeless affected by the recent recession, it is not so much about mental problems or substance issues issues, as it is about simply not having the means to afford a rent each month. Housing is simply too expensive for those who must also fill a plethora of daily needs.
It is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE to shelter people and often it can make them dependent on the services. Don't take that the wrong way - sheltering is necessary and very important. However, if we simply took more action to subsidize housing and rent for the low-income population, studies show that these recipients are more likely to remain in their homes and less likely to enter a shelter.
It's really makes businesses sense from a cost and moral point. Lets give people better lives, while reducing costs to the welfare system at the same time.
Stay tuned as we shift to Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in Kalamazoo as well as other communities. Learn more at www.haltpoverty.org.
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