|Issue of the Day: Shelter for the Homeless|
Published Thursday, January 15th, 2009
As the inauguration for President-Elect Barack Obama approaches, Washington DC’s homeless—about 1,200 in the security zone and 12,000 in the city proper—are being encouraged to decamp for the inauguration. Shelters in the city’s outer neighborhoods are being readied for buses which will make one-way trips. The problem comes from trying not to ‘cart-off’ the homeless, which in years past entailed included sending them to neighboring states or giving them movie tickets to keep them out of the way of special events. The tide turned when Salt Lake City opened shelters and welcomed them with warm food and drinks, plus live television feeds. So Washington is following suit, especially since record temperatures are expected to persist throughout the ceremonies.
Homelessness in America has, in recent years, declined according to the one-point-in-time count done by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, as more and more of the middle-class are experiencing foreclosure—up 81% from 2007—the more homeless living on the streets as seen in Santa Barbara, California where homeless have multiplied over 5 times from January-June 2008.