Hunger and Homelessness in the US

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Hunger and Homelessness in the US

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Nationwide hunger and homelessness exist in the world’s richest country USA because of indifferent policies toward its most disadvantaged.

According to Move for Hunger, one in eight Americans (40 million people) are food insecure.

More than 12 million children don’t know when they’ll have their next meal. The same goes for over five million seniors, inadequate Social Security benefits not solving the problem.

Food insecurity exists nationwide — in all states, counties, cities and towns.

Over half of individuals aided by Feeding America at times have to choose between food and housing. 

For them medical care when needed is unaffordable in a nation where its cost is around double compared to other developed countries.

Over 20 million low-income children need free or low-cost school lunches to eat a mid-day meal.

Hungry children have more health issues. Their school performance suffers.

Tens of millions of Americans struggle to survive because of poverty, unemployment, underemployment, and inability to keep pace with rising costs, annual increases much higher than rigged data.

According to Shadowstats economist John Williams, they’re currently rising at around 6% annually, not the phony official 2% number.

Income inequality in the US is greater than at any time over the past century — a significant contributor to poverty, hunger and homelessness.

Notably in the past 40 years, high-net worth households benefitted enormously from rising incomes wealth — while wages for US workers failed to keep up with the rising cost of living. 

Housing is increasingly unaffordable. There’s no state or county in the US where minimum wage full-time workers can afford a two-bedroom apartment on their own.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), over 550,000 Americans endure homelessness on any night of the year.

They include employed and unemployed individuals. Tens of thousands are military veterans.

Poverty, low wages, and unaffordable housing are major factors contributing to the problem.

Around 20% of the homeless population suffers from mental illness, many others from substance abuse, and major physical illnesses. Domestic violence is another contributing factor, affecting young people, single adults, and entire families.

In 2017, nearly seven million households spent over half their income on rent, leaving woefully little for other essentials to life.

Around two-thirds of the homeless are individuals, the other third entire families with children.

According to HAEH, official data on homeless numbers undercount the extent of the problem.

The Housing and Urban Development department (HUD) only began collecting data on homelessness nationwide in 2007.

Populations of New York, California, Hawaii, Oregon and the District of Columbia have the highest percentage of homelessness. Their cost of housing is the nation’s highest.

Other states with high homeless populations include Florida, Texas, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Illinois.

Cities and counties most affected include NYC, Los Angeles, Seattle and King County, WA, San Francisco, Oakland, Honolulu, Phoenix, Boston, San Diego, Las Vegas, Chicago, Denver, and Santa Ana, Anaheim/Orange County, CA.

Widespread deprivation exists in the world’s richest country because most of its discretionary income goes for militarism, warmaking, corporate handouts, and tax cuts for the rich — at the expense of eroding social justice.

Most US households with one or more working members have little or no savings — leaving them vulnerable to hunger and homelessness if one or more paychecks is missed.

According to Feeding America, seven of ten households they serve face unacceptable choices been paying for food and utilities, food and medical care, and/or food and education.

Nearly half of its client households have fair or poor health. The vast majority of its households are food insecure — without access to sufficient, affordable, nutritious food, at times going hungry.

During the holiday season and throughout the year, tens of millions of Americans are ill-fed, ill-housed, ill-cared for when sick, and ill-served no matter which right wing of the one-party state controls power.

That’s the disturbing state of today’s America, serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of the great majority — monied interests benefitting from neoliberal tyranny.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.