Homelessness has always been prevalent in the United States, yet often gets ignored. Even though it exists right outside our own homes and in our neighborhoods, the conversation never seems to make it into our classrooms or at the dinner table.
In the United States, there are three main types of homelessness: chronic, transitional, and episodic. Chronic homelessness accounts for the people who are often in long-term housing rather than just an emergency arrangement. Transitionally homeless individuals generally stay in a shelter system for a short period; this population tends to embody the younger, more recent members of the precariously housed population. Over time, transitionally homeless people account for the majority of people experiencing homelessness because of their high rate of turnover. Lastly, episodic homelessness describes those who frequently come in and out of being homeless.
According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, there are 1,750,000 homeless individuals in the United States. The most astounding aspect of this population is that 40% of the individuals are veterans and 28% do not get enough to eat daily. It is also estimated that 31,000,000 people are living below the poverty line and 9,300,000 recipients of food stamps are actually children. While the biggest demographic of homeless population is men at 44%, 36% of the homeless population is composed of families with children. Perhaps the most heartbreaking of these statistics is that 20% of the people in soup kitchen lines are children. Homelessness has only declined 0.4% in the past 4 years, which means this is an issue that will not go away unless we educate the next generation of leaders in our nation.
X-Out Homelessness aims to not only eradicate the issue of homelessness, but empower and educate youth at the same time.