Homelessness in America

2035 Words5 Pages

According to Streetwise of Street News Services (2010), the first reported instances of homelessness dates as far back as 1640, in some of the larger cities in the original 13 colonies. At this time, there were wars being fought between settlers and Native Americans, and people were left with no shelter in both sides (Street News Service, 2010). Later, the industrial revolution caused more homelessness, industrial accidents left many former hard-working families with a dead provider, or with severe disabilities, and then the economy entered a recession in the same time period (Street News Service, 2010). Wars always left a large number of veterans homeless. Later, in 1927, there was an astronomical flood along the Mississippi River, across multiple state, leaving about 1.3 million people without a home (Street News Service, 2010). Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, the Asian tsunami in 2004, and the earthquake early this year in Japan are still a major cause of homelessness.

One of the first times the federal government stepped in to help deal with homelessness was during the Great Depression, and did just this when they instituted the Federal Transient Service, which funded work training programs, shelters, health centers, housing, and work camps from 1933 to 1936 (Street News Service, 2010). This program was shut down in 1936 when the Roosevelt administration decided to fund Social Security (Street News Service, 2010). Later, as the National Coalition for the Homeless reports, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is one of the only major federal legislation in response to homelessness, and it’s been amended four times since its original introduction (National Coalitio...

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McKinney-Vento Act. (n.d.). National Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved April 15, 2011, from www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/facts/McKinney.pdf

Olivet, J. (2010, July 7). The History of Homelessness in America, 1640-Present - Street News Service. Home - Street News Service. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from http://www.streetnewsservice.org/news/2010/july/feed-240/the-history-of-homelessness-in-america,-1640-present-.aspx

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. (n.d.). Serve Center. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from center.serve.org/nche/downloads/mv_full_text.pdf

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (n.d.). United Nations. Retrieved April 18, 2011, from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

Why Are People Homeless?. (n.d.). National Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved April 23, 2011, from http://www.nationalhomeless.org

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