17 January 2009

NUMBERS

From the Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, here are some interesting percentages. In Cincinnati, between 1,300 and 1,500 people are homeless every night. 29% of the homeless are children. 33% of children who are homeless are under the age of 5. Single men comprise 56% of the homeless population. Single women comprise 20% of the homeless population. Unaccompanied children make up about 13% of the homeless population. The homeless population is 68.5% African-American, 27% Caucasian, 1.5% Hispanic, 0.6% Native American and 0.25% Asian. 8% of the homeless population is veterans. About 31% of the homeless suffer from chronic mental illness. 30% of the homeless have an alcohol dependency.* 31.5% of the homeless have a drug dependency.** In Cincinnati, a person working a minimum wage job must work 72 hours a week in order to afford a two bedroom apartment at fair market rent. This is still considered affordable by the government. In the last 15 years, the homeless population has increased 150%. The top two reasons people report for becoming homeless in Cincinnati are: the lack of affordable housing and loss of income. 18% of homeless women in Cincinnati are homeless as a result of domestic violence, the third highest reported cause of homelessness for women. 60% of homeless men in Cincinnati work at least part-time.*** Almost 60% of homeless men here are high school graduates; almost 5% have college degrees. *About 15 million Americans, according to drug-statistics.com, are dependent upon alcohol, which is about 5% of the general population. **Nicotine is not included in this percentage, because it's legal. 60 million Americans --- 20% of the general population --- are addicted to nicotine. Cigarettes kill hundreds of thousands of people every years, many times the amount killed by illegal drugs. A nicotine addiction will drive you to spend enough every month on cigarettes that your rent check will bounce. ***Sort of diminishes the mojo of that whole why-don't-these-people-get-a-job argument, doesn't it?

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All original text (C) 2007, 2008 David J. Carney. All rights reserved.

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