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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Changing face of homelessness: Challenging prevailing myths about the homeless population

Peter Connery, BA, Applied Survey Research, 55 Brennan Street, Watsonville, CA 95076, 831 728-1356, connery@appliedsurveyresearch.org

The population of “chronically homeless” is the focus of the Bush Administration’s initiative to end homelessness in the next decade. The definition of chronic homelessness, however, remains problematic. According to the federal government, they are “unaccompanied homeless individuals with a disabling condition who have either been continuously homeless for a period of one year or more or have had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.” This definition excludes children, families and those who are not disabled. The chronically homeless represent the most visible homeless subpopulation, but this stigmatizing characterization reinforces stereotypes of homeless citizens. In fact, this definition applies to only 200,000 homeless people per year, out of an estimated 2 to 3 million nationwide. Applied Survey Research has conducted studies using homeless “peer interviewers” in several California counties that show that the face of homelessness is changing, and reflects great diversity. The proportion of families, women, and children are increasing, as are the number of homeless residents who are employed, functioning members of society, without any disabilities, who simply cannot secure affordable housing. The recent stream of media attention and funding directed towards the chronically homeless could jeopardize the services that feed, clothe, house, and assist 90% of our nation’s new homeless population.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Homeless, Research

Related Web page: www.appliedsurveyresearch.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Vice President / CFO of Applied Survey Research

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Myths, Models and Prevalance Data on Homeless Populations

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA