HUD Looks at Who's Homeless in America

By: Ilyssa Trussel Email
By: Ilyssa Trussel Email

Lamount Goodlow shares a room with dozens of others. But before coming to the HOPE Community, he says he had it much worse. Goodlow has been homeless since he was thirteen years old.

"Once I was down in abandoned buildings, down in the sewers and bushes along the highway, under the bridge."

Goodlow is a lot like the majority of homeless people in the nation. A newly released government report shows 65 percent are men, 59 percent are minorities and 34 percent are families with children.

"You do have to explain to the children just as well as how it happened because they're looking for that explanation and how we must stay together and stay strong and overcome it," said Marcia Strong, a mother of two living at HOPE Community.

HOPE Director Kay Freeman says the numbers are getting worse, not better.

"What we're beginning to see is this trend of more and more families. It's clearly a reflection of the economic times, the cost of housing."

The report shows there aren't enough shelters or beds for all the homeless people in America. In Leon County, the story is the same. This winter, many slept on the cold concrete. Wednesday's report hopes to change that.

"It provides you, us with information that we need going forward so we'll be able to hopefully someday end this surge," said HUD Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi.

The study now goes to congress for review to help determine where resources need to be allocated.


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