Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New York Times says the Homeless population has decreased

So how do you count the homeless?

If they live in a long term rehab shelter are they still homeless?

If they live in a cheap hotel/motel and pay rent daily or weekly are they still homeless?

Do the researchers go into the wooded areas near interstate highways and look for the shanty towns hidden from view?

Do they count the people living in cardboard boxes alongside dumpsters, and technically if they have a roof over their heads are they still homeless?

If they don't have a place of their own but live in one room with friends or relatives, without paying rent are they homeless? Around here the social service agencies call that "doubling up" and it is usually a temporary fix until the "host" family can't tolerate the "guest" any more.

Are they only homeless if they come to a shelter for overnight lodgings or do you count those who can't get into a shelter?

Or if they can't find the homeless do they just not care and remove them from the list?

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