I was deeply saddened to learn that the numbers of homeless in the U.S. are increasing all too rapidly. One of my neighbors works with them and I am trying to get a sack of fresh rolls to her that one of my daughters brought us from a new Costco store in Manhattan yesterday:

I am all too aware of the increases in numbers because of the economic hardships our nation is facing which includes realistically a nearly 20% un- or under employment rate. For the first time middle income people are finding themselves joining the traditional homeless who usually have some mental or physical disabilities. Can one imagine taking one’s family into such an environment for relatively brief nighttime stays — most take people in late and oust them early.


According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 664,414 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide on a single night in January 2008. Additionally, about 1.6 million persons used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program during the 12-month period between October 1, 2007 and September 30, 2008. This number suggests that 1 in every 190 persons in the United States used the shelter system at some point in that period.[3]

According to the United States Conference of Mayors,[4] the main cause is the lack of affordable housing.


The three next primary causes are:

* mental illness or the lack of needed services,
* substance abuse and lack of needed services.
* low-paying jobs.

The minor causes cited by the mayors were:

* Prisoner release.
* Unemployment.
* Domestic violence.
* Poverty.

What can we do? Obama is trying, but the Republicans are our greedy ones who seem to give not a damn about human death and suffering — those wars and now those losing all that has meant home for them.

I dread the coming elections which may finally turn our country from a democratic republic into an oligarchy — rule by and for the greedy rich: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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