Why Homeless Need More Than Shelter

March 30, 1990

Report Outline
Special Focus


For more than a decade now, the homeless have been visible on the streets of U.S. cities, and the problem persists despite most Americans' desire to get them help. Low-cost housing, often presented as the solution, would help the homeless who are just down on their luck. But most homeless individuals have one or more serious disabilities—disabilities that, in fact, may be part of the reason they're homeless. For them, housing alone would be far from enough.

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Housing Now! That was the cry of tens of thousands of people who marched on Washington one day last October to demand that the federal government act to end what they passionately regard as a national disgrace—the plight of the homeless in affluent America.

Most Americans generally agree with the demonstrators. They want to help the homeless, too. A Gallup Poll that same month indicated that nearly 60 percent of the public favored increased government spending on programs for the homeless, even if it meant higher taxes. And when higher taxes weren't mentioned, the percentage favoring more government spending on programs for the homeless increased to 71.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Poverty and Homelessness
Jan. 11, 2019  Domestic Poverty
Aug. 04, 2017  Poverty and Homelessness
Jul. 17, 2015  Fighting Urban Poverty
Oct. 10, 2014  Housing the Homeless
Oct. 28, 2011  Child Poverty
Sep. 07, 2007  Domestic Poverty Updated
Jun. 18, 2004  Ending Homelessness
Dec. 22, 2000  Hunger in America
Apr. 07, 2000  Child Poverty
Jan. 26, 1996  Helping the Homeless
Aug. 07, 1992  The Homeless
Mar. 30, 1990  Why Homeless Need More Than Shelter
Sep. 30, 1983  Hunger in America
Oct. 29, 1982  The Homeless: Growing National Problem
Jan. 25, 1967  Status of War on Poverty
Feb. 05, 1964  Persistence of Poverty
Jun. 06, 1956  Pockets of Poverty
Low Income and Public Housing