“On any given night in America, anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million people are homeless, according to estimates of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.” --Policyalmanac(http://www.policyalmanac
One can see the homeless on street corners holding hand-scrawled signs. These signs, some of the most basic forms of graphic communication in American society today, combined, are a reminder that with a little bad luck one could easily find themselves in similar straits—and that at times can all use a helping hand.
Fact, Fiction & Homeless Americans: A Synopsis
At present, Americans are facing what may become a major change in what we have thought of as the "American Dream". With the current high unemployment, home foreclosures, and overall uncertainty about the economy, many more people are at risk of becoming homeless. At the same time, many local governments say they can't afford to help the homeless. Progress over the past few years had begun to reduce the number of homeless, but now that progress has apparently come to an end, or perhaps even reversed. While so many say it costs too much to house the homeless a significant number of programs have shown that it not only can be done, but it actually costs less to assist the homeless in getting into housing and, where possible, back to significant work again.
The media tends to present the homeless as people who spend their time panhandling, getting drunk in public, or pushing shopping carts. Those who do that are a very small percentage of all the homeless. Most homeless people do what they can to get back to meaningful work and their own place to live. When asking for assistance in doing so, they are usually turned away.
Over 740,000 people are homeless in the United States at any given time, and they're not all just hanging around panhandling or making it obvious. Many do low paying jobs, such as day-labor or whatever they can find, but without real progress. With constuctive assistance, instead of just handouts, a great many of them could achieve a productive life, and contribute to society, rather than remaining in poverty.
All Photo credit: www.funnyreign.com, www.uberpix.net, www.flickr.com/photos/masemase/238843465